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Popes Primacy before the Schism (quotes)

ialmisry

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Might as well throw this into the pile:


David Newman said:
With all due respect to the people who voted "no," they are clearly not educated in Church history. Here are a few examples from the pre-schism Church showing the popes to be head of the Church. I'm Orthodox and I'm an honest Orthodox. The facts are the facts.



Pope Innocent wrote to the Council of Carthage in 417 and referred to his see as one "incorrupt head." [PL 20:582-3].

Prosper [5th century] called the See of Peter the "head of the pastoral office for the world." [PL. 51:96].

The Priest Philip [5th century].- called the pope the "head". [ACO I: 1: 3:58].

Cyril of Alexandria [5th century] called Pope Celestine "archbishop of the entire habitable world." [PG 77: 1040].
I note the irony here: Cyril's predecessors had already received the title pope.  Celestine's successors had not yet taken it.


In 450 the empreror Valentinian told Theodosius that the the bishop of Rome holds the principality of the priesthood over all." [Inter epp. S. Leonis, 55. PL 54:859].

At the Council of Chalcedon, the priest Paschasinus stood and made the announcement: "We have in our hands orders from the most blessed and apostolic pope of the city of Rome, which is head of all the churches...." [ACO II, Vol. 3, pt. 1, 40].

He also called Pope Leo "universal pope, Leo." [ACO II, Vol. 3, Pt. 2, 18].

And "universal archbishop and patriarch of Great Rome." [ACO II, Vol. 1, Pt. 2, 15 sq].

At the end of the fifth session of Chalcedon, Emperor Marcian characterized Pope Leo as "the most blessed and apostolic pope of the universal church." [Mansi 7:132-6].

In 451, the bishops wrote to Pope Leo and said Leo "had been in charge as the head.." [Inter epp. S. Leonis, 98. PL 54: 952].

They called him the "head" and "summit." [PL 54:958].

The emperor Marcian said "Leo is the first of the arhchbishops." [Nau, 263-4].

The bishops of second Moesia defended the Council of Chalcedon and called "Leo, bishop of Rome, who is head of bishops." [ACO IV, Vol. 5, 32].

In 485, a Roman synod of 43 bishops met and they wrote to the clergy and archimandrites of Constantinople. saying "the faith of your holiness has been proven to the Apostolic See, which rules over us all." [CSEL 35: 158-9].

In 484, Eugene, primate of Carthage spoke of the pope as "the Roman Church, head of all the churches." PL 58: 215].

In 517, Pope Hormisdas received appeals from the east signed by alomst 200 signatures which refered to the pope as "patriarch of the whole world...Christ our God has constituted you prince of pastors...[you] are head of all." [CSEL 35: 572 sq].

Emperor Justinain wrote the pope saying "...the Lord will bring about through you, as Supreme Shepherd, the salvation of all." [Thiel, 955].

Justinain wrote to Epiphanius saying "...holy pope and patriarch of old Rome, to whom we have written likewise. For we do not allow anything pertaining to ecclesiastical order not to be reported to His Beatitude, since he is head of all the holy priests of God..."[Codex Iustinianus I 1, 7. Ed. P. Krueger, Corpus Iuris Civilis, Berlin 1882, Vol. II, 8].

In 533 Justinian called Pope John II ".....head of all the churches." [Codex Iustianus I 1, 8. Corpus Irus Civilis, Berlin 1882, Vol. II, 11].

Pope Damasus [382]: ".....nevertheless the holy Roman Church has been set before the other churches not by any synodical decrees, but by the evangelical voice of the Lord and Savior, saying "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church......."[Epp. VII, 34. PL 77:893].

Pope Boniface [418-422] wrote to the bishops of Thessaly and said of the Roman church: "... this Roman church is to the Churches spread through the world, as it were, the head of it's own members, from which whoever cuts himself off is expelled from the Christian religion..." [PL. 20:777-79].
 

minasoliman

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Who's Priest Philip?
 

ialmisry

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minasoliman said:
Who's Priest Philip?
Archbishop Celestine of Rome's delegate to the Council of Ephesus.  It is of importance, in that he was sent to represent Rome at the Council.  Many Ultramontanists try to pass Pope Cyril off as Rome's delegate, in an effort to evade Celestine's absence and Cyril primacy at the Council.
 

ialmisry

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For your first quotes, Theodoret, there's the little problem that he was condemned by the Fifth Ecumenical Council.  The appeals he is making to Rome are because he had supported and defended Nestorius, opposed St. Cyril and the Third Ecumenical Council, and was deposed for that and driven by the emperor from his see.  Given those circumstances, a little (maybe a lot) of pandering is to be expected.  The revocation of the verdict did not come from the Pope of Rome, but the emperor in New Rome.  The Council he is speaking of is Chalcedon, which he was allowed to attend after a fair amount of double speak, enough to cause those who would become the OO to think Chalcedon was Nestorian.  The Fifth Ecumenical Council rectified that and caught up with his misdeeds.

As to the flowery words to Pope Leo, they didn't impress the Fathers of Chalcedon, who approved the Tome of Leo AFTER 200 of them had examened it and JUDGED it Orthodox:i.e. they acclaim it Orthodox because Leo said so (as so many apologists of the Vatican would have it.  The letter of the Patriarchs to the Vatican in the 1800's points that out).  Pope Leo had intended that the Council acknowledge his Tome as its Definition: instead the Fathers wrote their own.

ChristusDominus said:
ANTIOCH
Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus in Syria (450):

"I therefore beseech your holiness to persuade the most holy and blessed bishop (Pope Leo) to use his Apostolic power, and to order me to hasten to your Council. For that most holy throne (Rome) has the sovereignty over the churches throughout the universe on many grounds." (Theodoret, Tom. iv. Epist. cxvi. Renato, p. 1197).

"It pertains to you (Pope Leo) to hold the primacy in all things, for your throne is adorned with many prerogatives." (Theodoret Ibid, Epist. Leoni)

"If Paul, the herald of the truth, the trumpet of the Holy Spirit, hastened to the great Peter, to convey from him the solution to those in Antioch, who were at issue about living under the law, how much more do we, poor and humble, run to the Apostolic Throne (Rome) to receive from you (Pope Leo) healing for wounds of the the Churches. For it pertains to you to have primacy in all things; for your throne is adorned with many prerogatives." (Theodoret Ibid, Epistle Leoni)

"For that all holy throne has the office of heading the Churches of the whole world, for many reasons; and, above all others, because it has remained free of the communion of heretical taint, and no one holding heterodox sentiments ever sat in it, but it has preserved the Apostolic grace unsullied." (Theodoret, Epist Renato)

"Hasten to your Apostolic See in order to receive from you a cure for the wounds of the Church. For every reason it is fitting for you to hold the first place, inasmuch as your see is adorned with many priviledges. I have been condemned without trial. But I await the sentence of your Apostolic See. I beseech and implore Your Holiness to succor me in my appeal to your fair and righteous tribunal. Bid me hasten to you and prove to you that my teaching follows in the footsteps of the Apostles." (Theodoret to Pope Leo, Ep. 113).
And another one driven from his see, seeking help:

St. Eusebius of Doryleum (450): ...writing to Pope Leo:

"The Apostolic throne has been wont from the beginning to defend those who are suffering injustice. I entreat Your Blessedness, give me back the dignity of my episcopate and communion with yourself, by letters from you to my lowliness bestowing on me my rank and communion." (Eusebius of Doryleum to Pope Leo)
He was deposed by Dioscoros and company, and restored at Chalcedon, where he did something interesting:
He was one of the bishops who signed the 28th canon of Chalcedon giving patriarchal rights over Pontus and Asia to Constantinople. When the papal legates demurred to the passing of the canon in their absence, and the signatories of the region affected were asked to declare whether they had signed willingly or not, Eusebius said that he had done so, because, when in Rome, he had read the canon to the pope, who had accepted it.
http://oce.catholic.com/index.php?title=Eusebius_of_Dorylaeum
 

ialmisry

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As Antioch came up before on this thread, I'll add this. Marduk made the claim on other forum that St. Basil begged the archbishop (not yet Pope) of Rome to settle the Meletian schism.  I believe he is misquoting when he says "St. Basil didn't say, 'You nor your legates have any say here in Antioch.' Instead, St. Basil says that he will only hold communion with the one whom the Pope would hold communion with."  Since Mardukm doesn't cite, I'm left guessing that this is what he is talking about:
I have been constrained to beseech you by letter to be moved to help us, and to send some of those, who are like minded with us, either to conciliate the dissentient and bring back the Churches of God into friendly union, or at all events to make you see more plainly who are responsible for the unsettled state in which we are, that it may be obvious to you for the future with whom it befits you to be in communion.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf208.ix.lxxi.html

Note: befits YOU.

What to say then, of St. Basil's letter to Patriarch St. Meletius in 375 (i.e. after the letter he seems to be alluding to, and misquoted):
...As soon as I got home, after contracting a severe illness from the bad weather and my anxieties, I straightway received a letter from the East to tell me that Paulinus had had certain letters from the West addressed to him, in acknowledgement of a sort of higher claim; and that the Antiochene rebels were vastly elated by them, and were next preparing a form of creed, and offering to make its terms a condition of union with our Church.  Besides all this it was reported to me that they had seduced to their faction that most excellent man Terentius.  I wrote to him at once as forcibly as I could, to induce him to pause; and I tried to point out their disingenuousness.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf208.ix.ccxvii.html
As I said, Paulinus was Rome's man in Antioch.

And the letter of the same year as that to Archbishop Damasus of Rome to Pope Athanasius of Alexandria?:
...your anxiety for all the Churches is no less than that which you feel for the Church that has been especially entrusted to you by our common Lord; inasmuch as you leave no interval in speaking, exhorting, writing, and despatching emissaries, who from time to time give the best advice in each emergency as it arises....I have therefore determined to send to your reverence our brother Dorotheus the deacon, of the Church under the right honourable bishop Meletius, being one who at once is an energetic supporter of the orthodox faith, and is earnestly desirous of seeing the peace of the Churches.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf208.ix.lxx.html

and earlier:
In my former letter it seemed to me sufficient to point out to your excellency, that all that portion of the people of the holy Church of Antioch who are sound in the faith, ought to be brought to concord and unity.  My object was to make it plain that the sections, now divided into several parts, ought to be united under the God-beloved bishop Meletius.  Now the same beloved deacon, Dorotheus, has requested a more distinct statement on these subjects, and I am therefore constrained to point out that it is the prayer of the whole East, and the earnest desire of one who, like myself, is so wholly united to him, to see him in authority over the Churches of the Lord.  He is a man of unimpeachable faith; his manner of life is incomparably excellent, he stands at the head, so to say, of the whole body of the Church, and all else are mere disjointed members.  On every ground, then, it is necessary as well as advantageous, that the rest should be united with him, just as smaller streams with great ones.  About the rest, [i.e. Paulinus, Rome's man, and his adherents] however, a certain amount of management is needed, befitting their position, and likely to pacify the people.  This is in keeping with your own wisdom, and with your famous readiness and energy.  It has however by no means escaped your intelligence, that this same course of procedure has already recommended itself to the Westerns who are in agreement with you, as I learn from the letters brought to me by the blessed Silvanus.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf208.ix.lxviii.html

and his epistle to Patriarch St. Meletius of the same year, earlier it seems:
I wished to detain the reverend brother Dorotheus, the deacon, so long at my side, with the object of keeping him until the end of the negociations, and so by him acquainting your excellency with every detail.  But day after day went by; the delay was becoming protracted; now, the moment that some plan, so far as is possible in my difficulties, has occurred to me concerning the course to be taken, I send him to approach your holiness, to make a personal report to you on all the circumstances, and show you my memorandum, to the end that, if what has occurred to me seems to you to be likely to be of service, your excellency may urge on its accomplishment.  To be brief, the opinion has prevailed that it is best for this our brother Dorotheus to travel to Rome, to move some of the Italians to undertake a voyage by sea to visit us, that they may avoid all who would put difficulties in their way
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf208.ix.lxix.html

All St. Basil's letters have as their purpose getting rid of Paulinus, Rome's man in Antioch, and restoring St. Meletius, as was done by the Second Ecumenical Council, which St. Meletius opened.

Some where here we also have dealt with the St. John Chrysostom quotes, and the fact that St. John was an ardent supporter of St. Meletius, and, like St. Basil, was ordained by St. Meletius when Rome rejected him.
 

ialmisry

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ialmisry said:
As to the flowery words to Pope Leo, they didn't impress the Fathers of Chalcedon, who approved the Tome of Leo AFTER 200 of them had examened it and JUDGED it Orthodox:i.e. they acclaim it Orthodox because Leo said so (as so many apologists of the Vatican would have it.  The letter of the Patriarchs to the Vatican in the 1800's points that out).  Pope Leo had intended that the Council acknowledge his Tome as its Definition: instead the Fathers wrote their own.
Just to add, on the Ibas thread the contrast between the close scrutiny of Leo's Tome at Chalcedon and the lack thereof of Ibas' letter to Mari the Persian (rectified at Constantinople II) came up:
ialmisry said:
deusveritasest said:
ialmisry said:
The three chapters were the point in question; that is, respecting Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret’s writings against Cyril, and the letter of Ibas of Edessa to Maris the Persian.  They examined whether that letter had been approved in the Council of Chalcedon.  So much was admitted that it had been read there, and that Ibas, after anathematizing Nestorius, had been received by the holy Council.  Some contended that his person only was spared; others that his letter also was approved.  Thus inquiry was made at the fifth Council how the writings on the Faith were wont to be approved in former Councils.  The Acts of the third and fourth Council, those which we have mentioned above respecting the letter of St. Cyril and of St. Leo, were set forth.  Then the holy Council declared:  “It is plain, from what has been recited, in what manner the holy Councils are wont to approve what is brought before them.  For great as was the dignity of those holy men who wrote the letters recited, yet they did not approve their letters simply or without inquiry, nor without taking cognizance that they were in all things agreeable to the exposition and doctrine of the holy Fathers, with which they were compared.”  But the Acts proved that this course was not pursued in the case of the letter of Ibas; they inferred, therefore, most justly, that that letter had not been approved.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xii.ii.html
That link actually vindicates that Pope Vigilius was convinced that Chalcedon had approved the letter and that it is thus in question whether or not it truly had. It does not simply take the word of the Second Council of Constantinople.
So yet more proof that Pope Vigilius didn't know what he was doing.  Your point?
[/quote]
 

ialmisry

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Due to the ongoing debate on the Fourth Council, I by chance was reaquainted with a text I thought appropriate here.  It is from the "Life of Shenoute" by his disciple St. Besa.  St. Shenoute's writings were the examplar of Coptic literature, but his chief claim to fame was cracking his staff over Nestorius' head at the Council of Ephesus.  I one episode, "One day," Besa says, "our father Shenoute and our Lord Jesus were sitting down talking together" (a very common occurance according to the Vita) and the Bishop of Shmin came wishing to meet the abbot.  When Shenoute sent word that he was too busy to come to the bishop, the bishop got angry and threatened to excommunicate him for disobedience:

The servant went to our father [Shenouti] and said to him what the bishop had told him.  But my father smiled graciously with laughter and said: "See what this man of flesh and blood has said! Behold, here sitting with me is he who created heaven and earth! I will not go while I am with him." But the Savior said to my father: "O Shenoute, arise and go out to the bishop, lest he excommunicate you. Otherwise, I cannot let you enter [heaven] because of the covenant I made with Peter, saying 'What you will bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and what you will loose on earth will be loosed in heaven' [Matthew 16:19].  When my father heard these words of the Savior, he arose, went out to the bishop and greeted him.
Besa, Life of Shenoute 70-72 (trans. Bell). On the context of this story see Behlmer 1998, esp. pp. 353-354. Gaddis, There is No Crime for those who have Christ, p. 296
http://books.google.com/books?id=JGEibDA8el4C

Now this dates not only before the schism of East-West, and the Schism of Chalcedon, but nearly the Schism of Ephesus.  Now Shmin is just a town in southern Egypt, and the bishop there just a suffragan of Alexandria.  So it would seem to be odd if the Vatican's interpretation of Matthew 16:19 were the ancient one why this would be applied to a bishop far from Rome, in a land where St. Peter never founded any Church.  But it makes perfect sense from the Orthodox interpretation of Matthew 16:19, and indeed, according to "the Catholic Encyclopedia," the overwhelming consensus of the Fathers.
 

ialmisry

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On another forum  :police: ::) :police:, someone (also named Ignatius) is shovling it:

1) St. Clement: The third successor to St. Peter restored deposed presbyters in the Church at Corinth (Greece), stating: “If anyone disobey the things which have been said by [the Holy Spirit] through us [i.e., Rome], let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and no small danger” (Letter to the Corinthians [ca. 80/96 AD]).

2) St. Ignatius of Antioch singled out Rome for special honor, writing that it held the “presidency of love” (Letter to the Romans [ca. 105 AD]).

3) St. Irenaeus: “[A]ll churches must agree [with Rome], that is, all the faithful in the whole world; and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the Apostolic tradition” (Against Heresies [180 AD]).

4) Pope St. Eleutherus was asked to officially assess the Montanist movement in Phrygia (ca. 177 AD).

5) Pope St. Victor threatened to excommunicate various churches in Asia Minor (ca. 190 AD).

6) During the second century, heretics like Marcion, Valentinus, Cerdo and Marcellina made there way to Rome to get their views accepted. Anti-gnostic writers also came to Rome, including St. Justin Martyr, St. Polycarp, Hegessippus and St. Irenaeus. In 250 AD, Novatian claimed to be the bishop of Rome, causing confusion throughout the entire Church and sending his “bishops” throughout the world. Hence, from the very beginning of the Church, both orthodox and unorthodox Christians attempted to influence or control the universal Church by means of gaining credibility in Rome.

7) Tertullian identifies Peter as the “rock” in Matthew 16:18 and says in “Italy, you have Rome, whence also our authority derives” (The Prescription Against the Heretics [ca. 200 AD]). Of course, nothing prevents a double meaning in the passage (i.e., the rock can also be seen as Peter’s confession), but the primary meaning is undoubtedly Peter himself.

8) St. Clement of Alexandria refers to Peter as “the chosen, the preeminent, the first among the disciples” (Who is the Rich Man that is Saved? [190/210 AD]).

9) The Letter of Clement to James (221 AD) refers to Peter as “the foundation of the Church.”

10) Origen wrote that Peter was “the great foundation of the Church, that most solid of rocks, upon whom Christ built the Church” (Homilies on Exodus [after 244 AD]).

11) St. Cyprian wrote extensively about the Roman primacy, saying that “false faith can have no access” to Rome and that “sacerdotal unity has its source [in] the chair of Peter” (Letter [252 AD]).

12) Poem Against the Marcionites (267 AD): “In this chair in which he himself had sat, Peter, in mighty Rome, commanded Linus, the first elected, to sit down . . .”

13) St. Peter of Alexandria referred to Peter as “the first chosen of the Apostles” (Penance [306 AD]).

14) As far as I know, every bishop of Rome up through Constantine’s legalization of Christianity in 313 AD was martyred for the faith. In other words, to be consecrated bishop of Rome was tantamount to a death sentence for Christianity’s first three centuries. After Constantine, the popes were able to come out of hiding in the catacombs and fully become what Christ intended. Relatedly, the United States today looks nothing like it did in 1787, when it ratified our Constitution. Should it come as a surprise that the Catholic Church looked different in the 5th century than in the 1st century? Certainly not.

15) Pope St. Julius rebuked Alexandria for deposing St. Athanasius without first consulting Rome, grounding his rebuke on an earlier custom of the church. He assumed he had the authority to reopen cases which had already been closed in other apostolic sees (Letter [341 AD]).

16) St. Athanasius: “When I left Alexandria, I did not go to your brother’s headquarters, or to any other persons, but only to Rome; and having my case before the Church, I spent my time in the public worship” (Letter to Emperor Constantius).

17) Council of Sardica, canon 3 (342 AD): “But if any bishop loses the judgment in some case, and still believes that he has not a bad but a good case, in order that the case may be judged anew, if it pleases Your Charities, let us honor the memory of the Apostle Peter, by having those who gave the judgment write to Julius, Bishop of Rome, so that, if it seem proper, he may himself send arbiters, and judgment may be made again by the bishops of a neighboring province.”

18) St. Ephraim wrote that Jesus made Peter “the foundation of the holy Church” (Homilies [351 AD]).

19) St. Cyril of Jerusalem stated that Peter was the “chief” and the “first and foremost of the Apostles” (Catechetical Lectures [ca. 350 AD]).

20) St. Hilary of Poitiers said that Peter was “the foundation of the Church” and wrote: “And you [Pope Julius], most dearly loved brother, though absent from us in body, were present in mind concordant, and will . . . For this will be seen to be best, and by far the most befitting thing, if to the head, that is to the see of the Apostle Peter, the priests of the Lord report from every one of the provinces” (Fragment 2 ex opere Historico [ex Epistle Sardic. Concil. Ad Julium [before 367 AD]).

21) St. Optatus observed that in “Rome the episcopal chair was given first to Peter” and explained that the true Church must always possess the chair of Peter and orthodox doctrine, which clearly entails that Rome could never abandon the orthodox faith (The Schism of the Donatists [367 AD]).

22) St. Epiphanius endorsed the Roman primacy (Medicine Chest Against All Heresies [375 AD]).

23) St. Basil the Great: “Nearly all the East is being agitated, right honorable father [Pope Damasus], by a terrible storm and tempest. The old heresy, sown by Arius the enemy of truth, has now boldly and unblushingly reappeared . . . I have looked upon the visit of your mercifulness as the only possible solution to our difficulties . . . I have been constrained to beseech you by letter and to be moved to help us . . . In this I am by no means making any novel request, but am only asking what has been customary in the case of men who, before our own day, were blessed and dear to God, and conspicuously in your own case” (Letter 70 [ca. 379 AD]).

24) St. Gregory Nazianzen wrote that Peter was the “rock” in Matthew 16:18 (Oration 26 [ca. 379 AD]).

25) St. Gregory of Nyssa wrote that Jesus built the Church on Peter (Oration on St. Stephen [ca. 395 AD]).

26) St. Jerome: “I follow no leader but Christ and join in communion with none but Your Blessedness, that is, with the chair of Peter. I know that this is the rock on which the Church has been built. Whoever eats the Lamb outside this house is profane. Anyone who is not in the ark of Noah will perish when the flood prevails . . . Since the East, shattered as it is by the long-standing feuds, subsisting between its peoples, is bit by bit tearing into shreds the seamless vest of the Lord . . . I think it my duty to consult the chair of Peter, and to turn to [Rome]” (Letter to Pope Damasus [379 AD]).

27) Pope St. Damasus: “The holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by the conciliar decisions of the other Churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior [in Matthew 16:18-19] . . . The first see, therefore, is that of Peter the Apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither stain nor blemish nor anything like it” (The Decree of Damasus [382 AD]).

28) Ambrosiaster: “Whereas the whole world is God’s, yet is the Church said to be His house, of which [Pope] Damasus is at this day the ruler” (Commentary on the Epistle of First Timothy [366-384 AD]).

29) Pope Siricius: “We – or rather, the blessed apostle Peter in us, who, as we trust, protects and keeps us in everything as the heirs of his government – bear the burdens of all these that are burdened” (385 AD).

30) St. John Chrysostom wrote that Christ entrusted His “sheep” (i.e., Christians) “to Peter and his successors” (The Priesthood [ca. 386 AD]).

31) St. Ambrose: “They [the Novatians] have not the succession of Peter, who hold not the chair of Peter, which they rend by wicked schism; and this, too, they do, wickedly denying that sins can be forgiven even in the Church” (Penance [388 AD]).

32) St. Augustine: “[On this matter of the Pelagians] two Councils [at Carthage and Milevis] have already been sent to the Apostolic See [i.e., Rome]; and from there rescripts too have come. The matter is at an end [due to the authority of Rome]; would that the error too might sometime be at an end!” (Sermons [inter 391 – 430 AD]).

33) Pope St. Innocent: “In seeking the things of God, . . . following the examples of ancient tradition, . . . you have strengthened . . . the vigor of your religion with true reason, for you have acknowledged that judgment is to be referred to us, and have shown that you know what is owed to the Apostolic See, if all of us placed in this position are to desire to follow the Apostle himself from whom the episcopate itself and the total authority of this name have merged . . .They did not regard anything as finished, even though it was the concern of distant and remote provinces, until it had come to the notice of this See, so that what was a just pronouncement might be confirmed by the total authority of this See” (Letter to the Council of Carthage [417 AD]).

34) St. Cyril of Alexandria wrote to Pope Celestine asking him to make a ruling on the orthodoxy of Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople: “God requires us to be vigilant in these matters and the ancient customs of the Churches persuades that we should communicate with your Holiness [in Rome]. We do not openly and publicly break off communion with [Nestorius] before communicating these things to your Piety. Deign therefore to declare what seems to you right; and whether one must remain still in communion with him, or ought it to be proclaimed publicly that no one communicated with one who professes to teach such errors?” (Letter to Pope Celestine [ca. 431 AD]).

35) In response, Pope Celestine urged Cyril to act with Rome’s authority in condemning Nestorius “assuring to yourself the authority of our See [Rome] and using our stead and place, you will execute this sentence with the utmost severity” (Letter [ca. 431 AD]).

36) Nestorius, deposed at the Council of Ephesus, later wrote bitterly: “Who was judge? Cyril. Who was accuser? Cyril. Who was Bishop of Rome? Cyril. Cyril was everything.” In his eyes, Cyril had arrogated to himself the authority and prerogatives of the Pope himself.

37) Council of Ephesus (431 AD): The legate of Pope Celestine came to “ratify [the Council’s] determination” in the name of the Pope, stating “There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever both lives and judges in his successors. The holy and most blessed pope Celestine, according to due order, is his successor and holds his place, and us he sent to supply his place in this holy synod.” (Acts of Council, Session 3).

38) St. Peter Chrysologus: “We exhort you in every respect, humble brother, to heed obediently what has been written by the Most Blessed Pope of the City of Rome; for Blessed Peter, who lives and presides in his own see, provides the truth of faith to those who seek it. For we, by reason of our pursuit of peace and faith, cannot try cases on the faith without the consent of the Bishop of the City of Rome” (Letter to Eutyches [a monophysite] [449 AD]).

39) Pope St. Leo the Great: “Although bishops have a common dignity, they are not all of the same rank. Even among the most blessed Apostles, though they were alike in honor, there was a certain distinction of power. All were equal in being chosen, but it was given to one to be preeminent over the others. From this formality there arose also a distinction among bishops, and by a great arrangement it was provided that no one should arrogate everything to himself, but in individual provinces there should be individual bishops whose opinions among their brothers should be first; and again, certain others, established in larger cities, were to accept a greater responsibility. Through them the care of the universal Church would converge in the one See of Peter, and nothing should ever be at odds with this head” (Letter of Pope Leo I to Anastasius, Bishop of Thessalonica [ca. 446 AD]).

40) Council of Chalcedon (451 AD): “After the reading of the foregoing epistle [The Tome of Pope Leo], the most reverend bishops cried out: ‘This is the faith of the fathers! This is the faith of the apostles! So we all believe! Thus the orthodox believe! Anathema to him who does not thus believe! Peter has spoken thus through Leo! . . . This is the true faith! Those of us who are orthodox thus believe! This is the faith of the Fathers! . . . Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder Rome, through us, and through this present and most holy synod, together with the thrice blessed and all-glorious Peter the apostle, who is the rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the foundation of the orthodox faith, has stripped him [Dioscorus, the bishop of Alexandria following Cyril’s death] of the episcopate” (Acts of the Council, Sessions 2 and 3).

41) Theodoret: “This most holy See [Rome] has preserved the supremacy over all Churches on the earth, for one especial reason among many others; to wit, that it has remained intact from the defilement of heresy. No one has ever sat on that Chair, who has taught heretical doctrine; rather that See has ever preserved unstained the Apostolic grace” (Epistle 116 to Renatus [before 466 AD]).

42) Pope St. Gregory the Great: “Your most sweet holiness, [Eulogius, bishop of Alexandria], has spoken much in your letter to me about the chair of Saint Peter, prince of the apostles, saying that he himself now sits on it in the persons of his successors. And indeed I acknowledge myself to be unworthy . . . I gladly accepted all that has been said, in that he has spoken to me about Peter’s chair, who occupies Peter’s chair. And, though special honor to myself in no wise delights me . . . who can be ignorant that holy Church has been made firm in the solidity of the prince of the apostles” (Letter to Eulogius [597 AD]).
The original context was a thread on how both the Vatican and the Evangelicals have fallen off the boat. It has a number of googy statements, like we can't hold an Ecumenical Council so we admit the Vatican is supreme, blah blah blah (tell that to the meeting on Cyprus) I might address as we go along. If I do, I'll paraphrase (the arguments aren't new) although the poster (who I believe posts here) might recognize his work.
 

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A deceptive and insulting post against St. Dioscorus was moved to the private EO/OO discussion forum.
 
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Is is possible that a lot of these quotes that support papal supremacy are forgeries? I know this was discussed at the very beginning of the thread, but I've been trying to learn more about the pseudo-Isadore forgeries. Is it possible that the commonly used quote by St. Maximus was forged? Or is it even possible to know that for a fact?
 
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I tried looking for the one by St.Pope Leo the Great. Scripture Catholic quotes sermon 5 so I go to try and find it. All the sermons are available except 4 and 5. hmmm. Where is this mysterious 5th homily? I came across one completely forged quote by Cyprian that Catholic apologists were pedalling around as an Orthodox person showed me the original text and it was completely different. It wasn't that they twisted the text but blatantly inserted new words into it.
 

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I tried looking for the one by St.Pope Leo the Great. Scripture Catholic quotes sermon 5 so I go to try and find it. All the sermons are available except 4 and 5. hmmm. Where is this mysterious 5th homily? I came across one completely forged quote by Cyprian that Catholic apologists were pedalling around as an Orthodox person showed me the original text and it was completely different. It wasn't that they twisted the text but blatantly inserted new words into it.
Seems like a number of St. Leo's sermons are "missing", not just nos. 4 and 5. Maybe with some kind of very extensive search they can be found, unless someone here has access to them somehow.
 

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I still haven't seen anything convincing about why Rome should hold a higher authority than any of the other "Petrine Sees." All their supporting documents point to Peter, which does not exclude Antioch or Alexandria.
I know this is an old thread, but as I was reading that in the post before yours, it struck me that the three Petrine sees equally holding the one Petrine see was a reflection of the Trinity. So then, it's as simple as saying that, just as the Father, though equal to the Son and the Spirit, is still the head of the Trinity, so also Rome is the head of the three Petrine Sees, even though Antioch and Alexandria are equal to it.
 

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I know this is an old thread, but as I was reading that in the post before yours, it struck me that the three Petrine sees equally holding the one Petrine see was a reflection of the Trinity. So then, it's as simple as saying that, just as the Father, though equal to the Son and the Spirit, is still the head of the Trinity, so also Rome is the head of the three Petrine Sees, even though Antioch and Alexandria are equal to it.
Uh oh......
 

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I know this is an old thread, but as I was reading that in the post before yours, it struck me that the three Petrine sees equally holding the one Petrine see was a reflection of the Trinity. So then, it's as simple as saying that, just as the Father, though equal to the Son and the Spirit, is still the head of the Trinity, so also Rome is the head of the three Petrine Sees, even though Antioch and Alexandria are equal to it.
Well, the problem is that there are a lot of Petrine sees in the Middle East, I always give example of nice town Batroun in Lebanon that's also Petrine see... So yoru theory/thought has collapsed now, or at least it should ;P
 

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Well, the problem is that there are a lot of Petrine sees in the Middle East, I always give example of nice town Batroun in Lebanon that's also Petrine see... So yoru theory/thought has collapsed now, or at least it should ;P

Did the early church hold Batroun to be equal to Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria? Antioch doesn't even think Jerusalem is equal to it, why would it count as equal a small city in Lebanon?

What is the tradition of the church in this city being established by Peter?
 

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Is is possible that a lot of these quotes that support papal supremacy are forgeries? I know this was discussed at the very beginning of the thread, but I've been trying to learn more about the pseudo-Isadore forgeries. Is it possible that the commonly used quote by St. Maximus was forged? Or is it even possible to know that for a fact?
Anything is possible, but they probably shouldn't be dismissed without substantive evidence that they are forgeries. It would come across as dismissing evidence you don't like because it contradicts your position.
 

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Pejoratives of any kind regarding clergy is not permitted here, and proper titles are to be used at all times everywhere on the forum. You've received 150 points for 2 weeks. If you wish to appeal, please do so via PM. Thanks. --Ainnir
Technically speaking as of today, currently the EP holds primacy in orthodoxy, you could say all night long poetry about the patriarchate of constantinople but ill stay away from (Patriarch Bartholomew --Ainnir) as far as i could.

If he doesn't repent or if the seat is not retaken by a faithful bishop we might see history repeat itself and sober christians stop recognizing him at all, though i do believe God will intervene and fix the madness we live in, in a very direct way.

You could also copy/paste quotes about the papacy all night long, but it is obvious even to non-christians that the current pope have nothing to do with christianity, how much less being the head of all christians and preserved from error by divine providence.
 
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Technically speaking as of today, currently the EP holds primacy in orthodoxy, you could say all night long poetry about the patriarchate of constantinople but ill stay away from that globalist CIA tool bartholosnake as far as i could.

If he doesn't repent or if the seat is not retaken by a faithful bishop we might see history repeat itself and sober christians stop recognizing him at all, though i do believe God will intervene and fix the madness we live in, in a very direct way.

You could also copy/paste quotes about the papacy all night long, but it is obvious even to non-christians that the current pope have nothing to do with christianity, how much less being the head of all christians and preserved from error by divine providence.
Well he's certainly not going to repent or deviate, and he has stacked the patriarchate with loyalists and sycophants in the same way that Pope Francis loaded the College of Cardinals to ensure continuity after his papacy.

Given that Moscow might actually be getting ready to anathemize him, and other jurisdictions are certainly fed up with the EP's meddling and downright blackmail over the Ukrainian issue, it's quite possible that we're approaching a cataclysmic schism. People won't "stop recognizing" him, because we've seen a tendency among Hellenic jurisdictions to put ethnocultural identity above faith issues, and they're not going to separate themselves from the Greek "mother church". Not all Athos monasteries oppose Patriarch Bartholomew's decisions, and those that do are bound by Greek authorities not to formally dissent. That leaves what, Elder Ephraim's monasteries in North America? The monastics might oppose him, but their primary financial donors are liberal-minded Greek-Americans. Unlike their Athonite mother monasteries they're free to leave, but the purse strings will be pulled.

In the near- to medium-term future we might see churches under the EP going their own way, with Patriarch Bartholomew free to pursue his neo-papacy. We might even see cross-communion with Rome under the current patriarchate.
 

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Did the early church hold Batroun to be equal to Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria? Antioch doesn't even think Jerusalem is equal to it, why would it count as equal a small city in Lebanon?

What is the tradition of the church in this city being established by Peter?
Every local Church is equal to each other, it's clear from Pauline epistles and writing of st. Ignatius of Antioch.
I understand you are Melkite not living in the Middle East, however local middleastern Christians have preserved a lot of oral traditions, among them the ones which apostle established local Church in which place ;)
 

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Quotemining is dismissed in serious scholarship, because it is by its very nature eisogetical.
 

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Every local Church is equal to each other, it's clear from Pauline epistles and writing of st. Ignatius of Antioch.
I understand you are Melkite not living in the Middle East, however local middleastern Christians have preserved a lot of oral traditions, among them the ones which apostle established local Church in which place ;)
The reason I asked about the tradition was because the town name sounds like a play on Peter, but when I looked the city up to see how big it was, I learned the etymology has nothing to do with Peter. I had thought maybe the name was the reason for believing the see there was established by Peter, but maybe I am assuming too much (wouldn't be my first time making that mistake!)
 

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Seems like a number of St. Leo's sermons are "missing", not just nos. 4 and 5. Maybe with some kind of very extensive search they can be found, unless someone here has access to them somehow.
I cannot find the translation of the quotation from Sermon 5 posted in the thread earlier. That said, my copy of Sermon 5 reads as follows:

"He does not cease to preside over his see but unfailingly maintains that fellowship which he has with the eternal Priest [i.e., Christ]." - Sermon 5, no. 4

It is important to note that the Eastern Fathers never accepted the notion that the bishop of Rome (and by extension his see) possessed a unique position as the sole successor of St. Peter. Historically speaking three bishops are connected to St. Peter (i.e., the bishop of Rome, bishop of Alexandria, and bishop of Antioch), for - as St. Gregory the Great said - St. Peter's see is one see in three places. But going even further than what has been said above, the ancient tradition holds that all bishops are successors of St. Peter (and simultaneously all of the Apostles) by their consecration to the episcopate, which is one and the same high priesthood in every place, so anything said about the three historic petrine sees also applies to all the members of the episcopate because all bishops are successors of St. Peter and the other Apostles in the ministry of overseeing the Church.
 

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This following quotation was provided earlier in this thread, but it seems appropriate to post it again now:

"Wherefore though there are many apostles, yet with regard to the principality itself the See of the Prince of the apostles alone has grown strong in authority, which in three places [i.e., Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch] is the See of one. For he himself exalted the See in which he deigned even to rest and end the present life. He himself adorned the See to which he sent his disciple as evangelist. He himself established the See in which, though he was to leave it, he sat for seven years. Since then it is the See of one, and one See, over which by Divine authority three bishops now preside, whatever good I hear of you, this I impute to myself. If you believe anything good of me, impute this to your merits, since we are one in Him Who says, That they all may be one, as You, Father, art in me, and I in you that they also may be one in us." - Letter of St. Gregory the Great to Patriarch Eulogius of Alexandria, Registrum Epistolarum, Book VII, 40


Nota Bene
: The Eastern Fathers never accepted the Western idea that there is a unique succession (at least beyond a historical relationship) between St. Peter and any particular episcopal sees when it comes to the authority of the high priesthood. Instead, the East (and even Western writers like St. Cyprian) always held that all bishops possess one and the same high priesthood through their consecration to the episcopate, and so all bishops are successors of all the Apostles, which necessarily includes St. Peter.
 

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What I said in my previous post about the East never accepting the idea that the bishop of Rome is the unique successor of St. Peter was highlighted in the text issued by the The Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church called, "The Chieti Document," which stated the following in paragraph 16:

"In the West, the primacy of the see of Rome was understood, particularly from the fourth century onwards, with reference to Peter’s role among the Apostles. The primacy of the bishop of Rome among the bishops was gradually interpreted as a prerogative that was his because he was successor of Peter, the first of the apostles. This understanding was not adopted in the East, which had a different interpretation of the Scriptures and the Fathers on this point. Our dialogue may return to this matter in the future."

Those interested may read "The Chieti Document" in its entirety by going to my website at the link below:

"The Chieti Document" of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church
 

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I cannot find the translation of the quotation from Sermon 5 posted in the thread earlier. That said, my copy of Sermon 5 reads as follows:

"He does not cease to preside over his see but unfailingly maintains that fellowship which he has with the eternal Priest [i.e., Christ]." - Sermon 5, no. 4
Where can one find Sermon 5? Is it available online in some form or does one need recourse to an actual book? And if so, which one(s)?

Thanks!
 

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I know this is an old thread, but as I was reading that in the post before yours, it struck me that the three Petrine sees equally holding the one Petrine see was a reflection of the Trinity. So then, it's as simple as saying that, just as the Father, though equal to the Son and the Spirit, is still the head of the Trinity, so also Rome is the head of the three Petrine Sees, even though Antioch and Alexandria are equal to it.
Er, this is ecclesiologically strange, to say the least. It is also beside the point - one of the foundational points for Rome is/was "it's THE Petrine See" which is why it can claim exclusive use of the keys (et al.), which isn't really intuitive (generally) or indicated by early Church history (specifically). I mean, in a sense, the whole idea of Petrine Primacy breaks down right from the get-go with the incredibly old Church tradition that St. Paul's allusion to Christ appearing to "James" (Iakovos / Jacob really) in 1 Cor 15:7 was a reference to the Lord appointing his step-brother as 1st Bishop of Jerusalem. I know we Orthodox tend to use the result of said appointment in this discussion a lot (i.e. that St. Iakovos/James/Jacob presided at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15), but the precipitating event was his selection as the first leader of the worshiping community post-Christ. It's clear that the leader of the Church post-Ascension is James, referenced by St. Luke (Acts 12, 15, and 21), St. Paul (Gal 2 as the first of the 3 pillars), and even Josephus. Why St. Peter's successors should be heads of a Church that even St. Peter wasn't the head of in his lifetime is beyond me. None of this is to denigrate one of the two Paramounts of the Apostles (with St. Paul) - but both of them showed deference to St. Iakovos/James/Jacob in their lifetime.
 

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Er, this is ecclesiologically strange, to say the least. It is also beside the point - one of the foundational points for Rome is/was "it's THE Petrine See" which is why it can claim exclusive use of the keys (et al.), which isn't really intuitive (generally) or indicated by early Church history (specifically). I mean, in a sense, the whole idea of Petrine Primacy breaks down right from the get-go with the incredibly old Church tradition that St. Paul's allusion to Christ appearing to "James" (Iakovos / Jacob really) in 1 Cor 15:7 was a reference to the Lord appointing his step-brother as 1st Bishop of Jerusalem. I know we Orthodox tend to use the result of said appointment in this discussion a lot (i.e. that St. Iakovos/James/Jacob presided at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15), but the precipitating event was his selection as the first leader of the worshiping community post-Christ. It's clear that the leader of the Church post-Ascension is James, referenced by St. Luke (Acts 12, 15, and 21), St. Paul (Gal 2 as the first of the 3 pillars), and even Josephus. Why St. Peter's successors should be heads of a Church that even St. Peter wasn't the head of in his lifetime is beyond me. None of this is to denigrate one of the two Paramounts of the Apostles (with St. Paul) - but both of them showed deference to St. Iakovos/James/Jacob in their lifetime.
That's an interesting point about St. James. I knew about him leading the council in Acts and being head of the church in Jerusalem, but wasn't aware that Christ himself had traditionally appointed him head.

Another question this raises for me is what was the point of having a Petrine triarchy at all, if all of the bishops sit in the see of Peter and are equal to each other? If there was the emphasis on all three sees being Petrine, something the Orthodox acknowledge, that indicates to me that the church at that time recognized "something" Petrine that was above the other apostles. It seems odd to have any primacy at all, of any bishop, synod or grouping of sees, if all the bishops are completely equal administratively. If all the sees equally share in the see of Peter, then why was it necessary to distinguish that if there was nothing special about Peter from an episcopal standpoint? If every bishop sits in the see of Peter, why have a triarchy, pentarchy, or any other hierarchical structure greater than the eparchy?
 
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That's an interesting point about St. James. I knew about him leading the council in Acts and being head of the church in Jerusalem, but wasn't aware that Christ himself had traditionally appointed him head.

Another question this raises for me is what was the point of having a Petrine triarchy at all, if all of the bishops sit in the see of Peter and are equal to each other? If there was the emphasis on all three sees being Petrine, something the Orthodox acknowledge, that indicates to me that the church at that time recognized "something" Petrine that was above the other apostles. It seems odd to have any primacy at all, of any bishop, synod or grouping of sees, if all the bishops are completely equal administratively. If all the sees equally share in the see of Peter, then why was it necessary to distinguish that if there was nothing special about Peter from an episcopal standpoint? If every bishop sits in the see of Peter, why have a triarchy, pentarchy, or any other hierarchical structure greater than the eparchy?
Because of imperial byzantine politics and the need for some organization in conciliar matters throughout the ecumene
 

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That's an interesting point about St. James. I knew about him leading the council in Acts and being head of the church in Jerusalem, but wasn't aware that Christ himself had traditionally appointed him head.

Another question this raises for me is what was the point of having a Petrine triarchy at all, if all of the bishops sit in the see of Peter and are equal to each other? If there was the emphasis on all three sees being Petrine, something the Orthodox acknowledge, that indicates to me that the church at that time recognized "something" Petrine that was above the other apostles. It seems odd to have any primacy at all, of any bishop, synod or grouping of sees, if all the bishops are completely equal administratively. If all the sees equally share in the see of Peter, then why was it necessary to distinguish that if there was nothing special about Peter from an episcopal standpoint? If every bishop sits in the see of Peter, why have a triarchy, pentarchy, or any other hierarchical structure greater than the eparchy?
I probably shouldn't be inserting myself into this discussion as I'm probably not nearly as well-informed about all this as you and Fr. George are, but it seems to my simple mind that you have just, in a kind of round-about fashion, more of less described the Orthodox Church, at least administratively. Even an archbishop or metropolitan is, in essence, "just" a bishop. Please correct me if I'm mistaken.

Conciliar vs. Hierarchical

The governance of the global Orthodox Church is conciliar, which means no patriarch or jurisdiction has more authority than any other. At the same time, the Orthodox Church also has a hierarchy in place within each of its autocephalous churches. This allows for internal order and stability, while also preventing one hierarch from claiming control of the global Church (as we see in Roman Catholicism).

 

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In the absence of an emperor, there is a need for administrative leadership. So, when I take over the world, I put everything into place and restore the empire.
 

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Because of imperial byzantine politics and the need for some organization in conciliar matters throughout the ecumene
If that's all it was, wouldn't that be a good reason for disbanding the rest of the pentarchy?
 

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I probably shouldn't be inserting myself into this discussion as I'm probably not nearly as well-informed about all this as you and Fr. George are, but it seems to my simple mind that you have just, in a kind of round-about fashion, more of less described the Orthodox Church, at least administratively. Even an archbishop or metropolitan is, in essence, "just" a bishop. Please correct me if I'm mistaken.
For me, it's more that they seem to be contradictory. Having a hierarchy at all seems to be the same thing as having a primate like the pope, just to lesser degrees. An eparchy has an eparch; a metropolitanate has a metropolitan that has more administrative authority than the eparchs within his jurisdiction; a patriarchate has a patriarch with more administrative authority than the metropolitans. "But no! There can be no primate with greater authority than the patriarchs or any authority over the whole Church!" Really? Why not? I've never heard an Orthodox explanation for the seemingly arbitrary termination of any higher authority at the level of patriarch that has satisfied my confusion on this. Maybe one is out there, but I haven't heard it yet.

"But the patriarchs and metropolitans are equal to the other bishops!" Ok. So why have higher ranks of bishops at all? "Because it was needed in the Empire!" For practicality, that makes sense. But why continue to have the pentarchy? There is no empire that Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, Russia and Georgia all belong to. And they have no administrative authority over each other. So what is the primacy of honor then? If Constantinople has primacy over Moscow, and Moscow can tell Constantinople to go pound sand, and the only thing Constantinople can do without an army behind it is to go pound sand, then what exactly is the primacy other than empty words reflecting a historical reality that no longer exists? If being first among equals means you have no authority over your equals, and your equals have no respect for you, then being first is utterly meaningless.
 

Tzimis

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For me, it's more that they seem to be contradictory. Having a hierarchy at all seems to be the same thing as having a primate like the pope, just to lesser degrees. An eparchy has an eparch; a metropolitanate has a metropolitan that has more administrative authority than the eparchs within his jurisdiction; a patriarchate has a patriarch with more administrative authority than the metropolitans. "But no! There can be no primate with greater authority than the patriarchs or any authority over the whole Church!" Really? Why not? I've never heard an Orthodox explanation for the seemingly arbitrary termination of any higher authority at the level of patriarch that has satisfied my confusion on this. Maybe one is out there, but I haven't heard it yet.

"But the patriarchs and metropolitans are equal to the other bishops!" Ok. So why have higher ranks of bishops at all? "Because it was needed in the Empire!" For practicality, that makes sense. But why continue to have the pentarchy? There is no empire that Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, Russia and Georgia all belong to. And they have no administrative authority over each other. So what is the primacy of honor then? If Constantinople has primacy over Moscow, and Moscow can tell Constantinople to go pound sand, and the only thing Constantinople can do without an army behind it is to go pound sand, then what exactly is the primacy other than empty words reflecting a historical reality that no longer exists? If being first among equals means you have no authority over your equals, and your equals have no respect for you, then being first is utterly meaningless.
Not really. We no longer live in a Autocratic era, so the people get to choose who they follow. Take for instance Ukraine. The EP declared them Autocephalous.
Which means their canonical and its through the EP.
Its more powerful then a nuclear bomb actually.
 

J Michael

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For me, it's more that they seem to be contradictory. Having a hierarchy at all seems to be the same thing as having a primate like the pope, just to lesser degrees. An eparchy has an eparch; a metropolitanate has a metropolitan that has more administrative authority than the eparchs within his jurisdiction; a patriarchate has a patriarch with more administrative authority than the metropolitans. "But no! There can be no primate with greater authority than the patriarchs or any authority over the whole Church!" Really? Why not? I've never heard an Orthodox explanation for the seemingly arbitrary termination of any higher authority at the level of patriarch that has satisfied my confusion on this. Maybe one is out there, but I haven't heard it yet.

"But the patriarchs and metropolitans are equal to the other bishops!" Ok. So why have higher ranks of bishops at all? "Because it was needed in the Empire!" For practicality, that makes sense. But why continue to have the pentarchy? There is no empire that Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, Russia and Georgia all belong to. And they have no administrative authority over each other. So what is the primacy of honor then? If Constantinople has primacy over Moscow, and Moscow can tell Constantinople to go pound sand, and the only thing Constantinople can do without an army behind it is to go pound sand, then what exactly is the primacy other than empty words reflecting a historical reality that no longer exists? If being first among equals means you have no authority over your equals, and your equals have no respect for you, then being first is utterly meaningless.
Now we're way above my pay-grade! I can no longer see the forest for the weeds we've entered. Tbh, I can't really concern myself with this too much, other than that I do have grave issues with Papal "supremacy" as opposed to Papal "primacy". I don't have any problem with a hierarchy, per se, and tbh again, think the Orthodox model is a better one than the Roman Catholic. Now...someone will probably come along and anathematize me. Oy.
 

melkite

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Now we're way above my pay-grade! I can no longer see the forest for the weeds we've entered. Tbh, I can't really concern myself with this too much, other than that I do have grave issues with Papal "supremacy" as opposed to Papal "primacy". I don't have any problem with a hierarchy, per se, and tbh again, think the Orthodox model is a better one than the Roman Catholic. Now...someone will probably come along and anathematize me. Oy.
I feel the same way. This is just my opinion, but I think the pope's authority is somewhere between what Rome grants him and what the Orthodox grant him. I prefer the Orthodox model as well, but I think there are holes in it or things that need to be explained better. Maybe I'm just too dumb to really understand it all :D
 

Fr. George

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I probably shouldn't be inserting myself into this discussion as I'm probably not nearly as well-informed about all this as you and Fr. George are, but it seems to my simple mind that you have just, in a kind of round-about fashion, more of less described the Orthodox Church, at least administratively. Even an archbishop or metropolitan is, in essence, "just" a bishop. Please correct me if I'm mistaken.
Precisely. Fundamentally the Orthodox will say that one bishop may be distinguished by another in what they are asked to administer (small diocese vs. big metropolis; presiding over a synod; etc.), but there is no ontological difference between them. The Roman claims that accompany Petrine Primacy (i.e. unique access to the deposit of merit, etc.) describe a uniqueness in a single bishop that just don't resonate with either the Gospel nor the Church of our forefathers.
 
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