Originally posted by IrishJohan:
I agree with the first part of your statement here, and in times of severe trouble agree that the Primacy gives such authority. However, I do have to disagree that the Pope needs to 'approve or disapprove' canons of Particular Churches and the appointment of their bishops on a regular basis which seems implied here. Why does Rome need to step in and give the thumbs up or down when say the Melkite Synod selects a new patriarch? Just to be sure "his guy" fills the slot? That sounds too much like the Melkite Patriarch (to continue with this example of mine) would be nothing more than a functionary of Rome's which distorts IMO Catholic ecclesiology. Why not instead simply let the Melkites select their own Patriarch, send him the letter of congrats (I forget what this is called), as was done in the early Church? Now if they decide to appoint a neo-Arian or a someone like the Episcopalian "bishop" Randy Andy, that's something else because essential truth is at stake. Ditto for the canons of Particular Churches. Why are not the Eastern Catholic Churches penning their own Codes of Canon Law instead of turning to Rome for approval for every jot and tittle? These kinds of things I think do the Holy See a disservice not only for Catholic ecclesiology, but also in keeping Orthodox suspicions alive.
Just my two cents.
Good points, John. As I would envision it, the purpose of the Pope's "thumbs up or down" would be to express the mind of the entire Church. An Orthodox friend of mine in the OCA informs me that all
of the bishops have to agree to the ordination of any person to the priesthood; it isn't the perogative of the particular bishop to ordain whomever he wishes, above the objections of other bishops. I would assume the same would hold true for the election of any bishops in the OCA. If this is true, then the Pope's jurisdiction in the matter would be maintain the reality of communino within the Church. In other words, the decisions of any one Particular Church (or Patriarchate) has an effect on the entire Church. The Pope's role would be at the service of unity, not of control.