The Byzantine Forum
Newest Members
son of the desert, chchannel, OrbisNonSufficit, SergLts, RusFrog
5656 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 151 guests, and 143 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Latest Photos
Byzantine Nebraska
Byzantine Nebraska
by orthodoxsinner2, December 11
Church of the Holy Trinity (UGCC) - Brazil
Church of the Holy Trinity (UGCC) - Brazil
by Santiago Tarsicio, March 17
Papal Audience 10 November 2017
Papal Audience 10 November 2017
by JLF, November 10
Upgraded Russian icon corner
Upgraded Russian icon corner
by The young fogey, October 20
Russian Greek Catholic Global Congress
Russian Greek Catholic Global Congress
by likethethief, June 12
Forum Statistics
Forums26
Topics34,879
Posts412,865
Members5,656
Most Online3,380
Dec 29th, 2019
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 2 of 5 1 2 3 4 5
Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas
#122078 07/29/02 10:20 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,968
DTBrown Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,968
Quote
Originally posted by StuartK:


No, Dave, my point is that the papacy and its associated primacy exist to serve to serve the Church, the Church does not exist to justify the existence of the papacy--though, to listen to some people, you would think that without the papacy there would be no Church.


I would agree that the purpose of the papacy is to serve the Church. After all, that is the idea behind the term "Servant of the servants of God." I think it was Pope St Gregory who popularized it first in reference to the papacy. (Interestingly, the Encyclopedia Brittanica article on St Gregory snipes that the way St Gregory used that term `actually meant the opposite.')

As to those folks who "think that without the papacy there would be no Church...." I've never met any such. I do know of several people who would agree with this fellow, however:

Quote
97. The Catholic Church, both in her praxis and in her solemn documents, holds that the communion of the particular Churches with the Church of Rome, and of their Bishops with the Bishop of Rome, is-—in God's plan—-an essential requisite of full and visible communion. Indeed full communion, of which the Eucharist is the highest sacramental manifestation, needs to be visibly expressed in a ministry in which all the Bishops recognize that they are united in Christ and all the faithful find confirmation for their faith. The first part of the Acts of the Apostles presents Peter as the one who speaks in the name of the apostolic group and who serves the unity of the community—all the while respecting the authority of James, the head of the Church in Jerusalem. This function of Peter must continue in the Church so that under her sole Head, who is Jesus Christ, she may be visibly present in the world as the communion of all his disciples.


Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas
#122079 07/29/02 11:08 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,103
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,103
Dear Stuart and OrthoMan,

Thank you two for the much better answers to this question of Hormisdas' Formula than what I had previously read. The first one given by Orthoman (in the previous forum) questioning whether "Apostolic See" IN CONTEXT referred to Rome, I thought, was absurd. These latter replys from you two I found much more satisfying.

(By the way I know OrthoMan is Orthodox from his writings, are you also Stuart? Your personal info page doesn't give your religious affiliation)

I can appreciate Alex's admonition to live in the "now" as followers of Jesus Christ. But we must also make time to try and understand what the Church was meant to be in order to work within it for the kind of reform that will, Lord Willing, bring full unity back to its divided members.

For me, that's a big part of what drew me to join this forum. I wanted to be able to discuss these important things with other brothers and sisters in Christ who are from the historic Churches in order to learn and grow in my understanding of Christ's Holy Bride.

I can't understand how Stuart could deny that such a formula is an amazingly clear and powerful assertion of -at the very least- Rome's own understanding of her importance. Regardless of whether you agree with the truthfulness of the formula, how could you deny that it is at least historically substantial? Something to consider?

I personally am very dissapointed with these weak Eastern Patriarchs (according to the interpretation you gave) who just signed such statements all the while believing them to be false. If what you say is true, then they failed the Church miserably. May God have mercy on them for such cowardice in the face of blantant falsehood. This, according to your analysis would be another proof for the apparent scourge of Ceasaro-papism the West always accuses the East of. And I know both Churches have had their scourges.

One thing that makes me suspect of such formulae so clearly affirming Papal "Supremacy" (and I do understand the difference between "Primacy" and "Supremacy") is that they always seemed to have originated from the Roman Bishops themselves. If this was the faith of all, how come it was the Popes only making such claims? Yet, this is far from saying what Orthoman seems to be claiming, that no one knew anything about Papal Supremacy in those days. Or, like Stuart is saying that to suggest they did is anachronistic.

When you combine this formula with other statements by early Popes (do we really need to list them all out again?), it becomes manifest that there clearly was an understanding or belief among THEM that they had a "Supremacy." The question for me is: did this belief of theirs represent an authentic expression of the Orthodox Faith of the Catholic Church (I.O.W. of both East and West)... or was it just a Western, Latin understanding.

Thanks for your anticipated replys.

In Christ's Light,

Wm. Der-Ghazarian

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas
#122080 07/30/02 01:49 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Der-Ghazarian:
[QB]Dear Stuart and OrthoMan,

>>>(By the way I know OrthoMan is Orthodox from his writings, are you also Stuart? Your personal info page doesn't give your religious affiliation)<<<

Like His Beatitude, Patriarch Gregory III Laham, I consider myself to be an Orthodox Christian--with a plus: I am in communion with the Church of Rome.

>>>I can't understand how Stuart could deny that such a formula is an amazingly clear and powerful assertion of -at the very least- Rome's own understanding of her importance. Regardless of whether you agree with the truthfulness of the formula, how could you deny that it is at least historically substantial? Something to consider?<<<

The thing about historical documents is that they are much like biblical extracts: removed from their proper context they can mean almost anything. Picking and choosing documents like the Formula is much like the old Protestant game of Scriptural prooftexting: if one looks hard enough, one can find a document to support any position. That is why, if we are to reach the truth, and through the truth achieve unity in the Holy Spirit, it is essential to submit all such documents to an exhaustive historical/critical analysis. This will help us to determine what the document meant to the people who wrote it and to whom it was addressed. Language changes, rhetorical styles change. Superficial readings can be very misleading (e.g., Peter may have spoken through Leo the Great at Chalcedon, but such acclamations were a standard rhetorical device in late antiquity, and once can find many examples of people who spoke with the voice of Peter, or Paul, or even Christ--which makes the use of the acclamation as an apologetic device in favor of papal supremacy rather facile). In the case of the Formula of Hormosidas, it is absolutely essential to understand both the circumstances under which it was issued, and how it was received by the Churches at the time--as reflected in their actual behavior.

>>>I personally am very dissapointed with these weak Eastern Patriarchs (according to the interpretation you gave) who just signed such statements all the while believing them to be false.<<<

What, then, can we say of the equally "weak" Bishops of Rome, of whom there were many, right down into the modern era? In point of fact, by signing with a caveat, the Patriarch was clarifying his own position--what the document meant in his mind. It's not a form of weakness, its a form of honesty. And, as history showed, it was the Patriarch's interpretation that carried the day.

>>>If what you say is true, then they failed the Church miserably.<<<

Did they? The Church is a sacrament with an institutional aspect, run by and for sinful man. Compromise is the essence of maintaining unity, and balancing the need for compromise with the need to preserve the integrity of the faith is a difficult balancing act under any circumstance. It helps to remember just how ambiguous the Nicene homousion actually was, and why such an ambivalent term as homoousios was chosen in the first place. Moreover, as the Catholic and Orthodox Churches' ongoing rapprochement with the non-Chalcedonian Churches demonstrates, willingness to compromise on matters not central to the faith, and to extend to the other a charitable willingness to understand his forms of theological expression, can help preserve both the integrity of the faith and the unity of the Church.

>>>May God have mercy on them for such cowardice in the face of blantant falsehood.<<<

Everything is so clear to someone who is 1500 years removed from the scene, and who has no responsibility for making decisions.

>>>This, according to your analysis would be another proof for the apparent scourge of Ceasaro-papism the West always accuses the East of. And I know both Churches have had their scourges.<<<

The East was never subject to Caesero-Papism (or if it was, then the West was subject to Papo-Caesarism); rather, the concept of synergia between Church and state applied, and your attempt to analyze the situation using Western categories is bound to be misleading at best. I suggest you read John Meyendorff's Byzantine Theology, or Alexander Schmemman's Church/World/Mission for a more accurate assessment. And if you want a non-Orthodox source, you cannot do better than J.M. Hussey's The Orthodox Church and the Byzantine Empire.

>>>One thing that makes me suspect of such formulae so clearly affirming Papal "Supremacy" (and I do understand the difference between "Primacy" and "Supremacy") is that they always seemed to have originated from the Roman Bishops themselves.<<<

Well, of course. But the Formula of Hormosidas is best seen as a secular, diplomatic document.

>>>If this was the faith of all, how come it was the Popes only making such claims?<<<

Today we have both the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Patriarch of Moscow acting in an extremely "papalist" manner. And throughout the period of the Turkokratia, the Ecumenical Patriarch was both civil and religious leader of the Rhum Milet with a power as great or greater than his Roman contemporaries.

>>>Yet, this is far from saying what Orthoman seems to be claiming, that no one knew anything about Papal Supremacy in those days. Or, like Stuart is saying that to suggest they did is anachronistic.<<<

If you were to suggest in 513 that the Bishop of Rome had the power to intervene directly in the affairs of other local Churches without invitation, or that he could, under a particular set of circumstances, utter statements that would have to be accepted as both dogmatic and inerrant, well, then, you would have been laughed off the rostrum. Which is why the Formula of Hormosidas doesn't say any such thing.

>>>When you combine this formula with other statements by early Popes (do we really need to list them all out again?)<<<

I think we do, because most of them are taken out of context, or are not placed within the full spectrum of ecclesiological opinion

>>>it becomes manifest that there clearly was an understanding or belief among THEM that they had a "Supremacy."<<<

What they may have believed as individuals, or even as heads of their particular Churches, is irrelevant. All that counts is how the Church actually lived. And with few exceptions, most Bishops of Rome never pushed a juridical concept of their primacy, let alone supremacy. Theirs was a more mystical conception of primacy, a charism that others should recognize but which could not be imposed. Some, like Gregory the Great, went out of their way to discourage any notion that they, as Bishop of Rome, stood anywhere above or beyond their brother bishops in grace or wisdom.

>>>The question for me is: did this belief of theirs represent an authentic expression of the Orthodox Faith of the Catholic Church (I.O.W. of both East and West)... or was it just a Western, Latin understanding.<<<

Neither. It was an attempt to maintain the authority and independence of the Church of Rome at a time when the collapse of civil authority in the West forced the Church there to take on an ever-increasing burden of civil power. Some Bishops of Rome were weak enough to conflate their spiritual authority with their temporal powers. But then, "All power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely".

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas
#122081 07/30/02 01:06 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,173
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,173
Dera Ghazarian,

Yes, I agree that Church history is important.

I only wanted to emphasize that in our zeal to try and reach that "perfect" historical interpretation, sometimes the here and now gets shunted to one side.

And there is no such perfect interpretation as StuartK has so magniloquently said.

My theological "baby" is the study of saints and what Stuart said about human weakness reflects an Eastern Christian perspective more than a Western one.

We see this in the inclusion into the calendar of the Saints of the East of patriarchs and bishops who signed the Henoticon, of Pope St Liberius and others whose weakness under duress did not, in the estimation of the Christian East, take away from their sanctity.

The West has a more rigid view and does not include Liberius into its calendar and otherwise considers the same "weakness" to imply a weakness in sanctity.

I think you are being too hard on Orthoman, and I say this not only from a personal point of view (he's my "Ortho-buddy!").

As for caesaro-papism, we must remember that it was the Emperor and no bishop or patriarch that had ultimate control of the Church for centuries.

The papal term "Vicar of Christ" is actually borrowed from the Emperors of Byzantium.

While the East was dependent on the good will of the Byzantine Emperor (and later that of the Tsar of Russia), this developed a kind of subservience to the civil power.

When we criticize the Russian Church for going with the soviet power, we must temper our moralistic tone by remembering the fact that Church was following a reflex reaction that was placed in it in Byzantine times.

In the West, the Papacy rose to its zenith of secular power in the vaccum of a strong Western Emperor of the calibre of a Charlemagne.

The Pope of Rome assumed a number of the secular roles of the Emperor of Rome, including the old title "Pontifex Maximus."

One of the pitfalls, and this is on both Catholic and Orthodox sides of the debate, in dealing with historic statements of church policy and teaching is the issue of their actual impact on church life, as Stuart mentions as well.

Pope St Gregory I may have considered Rome to be the apex of church authority, but did the rest of the Church share his view?

The Pope of Alexandria was the first patriarch to use the title "Pope." As a matter of fact, this Eastern patriarch was also the first to develop the idea of "immediate jurisdiction" over every priest and parish church throughout Africa!

He also assumed the title "Ecumenical Archbishop," just as the Bishop of Constantinople assumed the title, "Ecumenical Patriarch."

Again, all three patriarchs laid claim to primacy on the basis of St Peter's esablishment of their Churches (Alexandria through St Peter's disciple, St Mark - the "Evangelical See").

The views of their role in the Church by all three were often in their own mind and not shared by the "oikumene."

Add to this the fact that order in primacy really only applied to an Ecumenical Council and that outside of it each Church dealt with its own internal matters.

Rome was the final court of appeal, of course, but instances of other Churches or theologians of other Churches appealing to Rome are few in the first 1,000 years.

The rule of thumb was one's own Primate or Patriarch dealt with their own issues internally.

My own theory, if I may advance it, with respect to Roman jurisdiction is that Rome had been separated from the Eastern Churches (and vice-versa) and this led to the development, heretofore unknown in Church history, of a "universal Particular Church" in this case, that of Rome.

The Particular tradition of Rome became, in its eyes, the universal one. Gone was the idea of a communion of local Churches that represented a rich liturgical diversity.

The reason why the Eastern Catholic Churches are having the problems they are with respect to their own traditions is because they are in union with a Church that has operated for centuries under the assumption that: a) the Latin Rite is normative, universal and best; b) some aspects of the Latin tradition have become so "universalized" that they must be imposed on the Eastern Churches in union with Rome e.g. clerical celibacy, breviaries etc. and; c) the Eastern Churches have the same relationship to Rome as does its Particular Latin Church where the Patriarch of Rome is the "universal" Patriarch of the Eastern Churches as well and the East must submit to it as the Latins do.

Again, this is all a later development in terms of ecclesial praxis.

The fact that certain Popes affirmed their primacy should be counterbalanced by the way the Ecumenical Patriarch and Ecumenical Archbishop saw their roles as well.

Ultimately, Stuart is absolutely correct and at no time in church history did any bishop or patriarch exercise jurisdictional control over areas that were not included in his "territory."

Alex

[ 07-30-2002: Message edited by: Orthodox Catholic ]

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas
#122082 07/30/02 01:26 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,968
DTBrown Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,968
Stuart wrote:

Quote
If you were to suggest in 513 that the Bishop of Rome had the power to intervene directly in the affairs of other local Churches without invitation....[snipped]....well, then, you would have been laughed off the rostrum. Which is why the Formula of Hormosidas doesn't say any such thing.


Emperor Justinian sent a profession of faith to Pope Agapetus (reigned 535-536) which began with quoting the Formula of Pope Hormisdas. Agapetus certainly thought he could intervene without invitation. The Encyclopedia Brittanica explains:

At the urging of the Ostrogothic king of Theodahad, he headed an unsuccessful mission to Constantinople to deter the emperor Justinian I from his plans to reconquer Italy. While there he secured the election of, and consecrated, Mennas as successor to the patriarch Anthimus I, whom he deposed for his Monophysite beliefs (that Christ had but one nature). Agapetus' remains were brought back from Constantinople, where he died, and were buried in Rome.

St Agapetus himself explains the situation in a letter to Peter, Patriarch of Jerusalem. He reproved Peter for his laxity and for having accepted communion with Anthimus:

Quote
We found the see of Constantinople usurped, contrary to all the canons, by Anthimus, Bishop of Trebizond. Our desire was to lead his soul back not only with regard to this point, but, what is more important, regarding the confession of the True Faith; but, attaching himself to the error of Eutyches, he despised the Truth. Wherefore, after having, according to apostolic charity, awaited his repentance of this belief, we decreed that he be deprived of the name of Catholic and of priest, until such time as he fully receive the doctrine of the Fathers who maintain the Faith and discipline of religion. You must reject likewise the others whom the Apostolic See has condemned. (Mansi, viii, 922.)


Not only did St Agapetus feel he could intervene in the affairs of Constantinople without invitation...he also felt he could issue a warning to the Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Pope St Agapetus is commemorated on the Byzantine liturgical calendar on April 17.

[ 07-30-2002: Message edited by: DTBrown ]

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas
#122083 07/30/02 01:56 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 657
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 657
StuartK writes:

[The thing about historical documents is that they are much like biblical extracts: removed from their proper context they can mean almost anything. Picking and choosing documents like the Formula is much like the old Protestant game of Scriptural prooftexting: if one looks hard enough, one can find a document to support any position.]

[Superficial readings can be very misleading (e.g., Peter may have spoken through Leo the Great at Chalcedon, but such acclamations were a standard rhetorical device in late antiquity, and once can find many examples of people who spoke with the voice of Peter, or Paul, or even Christ-]

[>>>When you combine this formula with other statements by early Popes (do we really need to list them all out again?)<<<

I think we do, because most of them are taken out of context, or are not placed within the full spectrum of ecclesiological opinion]

Reply:

This is exactly what I have been trying to say all along! That is why I will take the approved Canons of the undivided Church over a quote from an early Pope or Saint anyday. Until someone can show me an approved Canon that superceded the Canons giving the Pope a primacy of honor and bestowing upon him him supremacy over the entire church I will just lurk from now on. Because
These out of context quotes mean nothing.

OrthoMan

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas
#122084 07/30/02 02:08 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,173
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,173
Dear Orthoman,

While I'm no canonist (I do love reading The Rudder though - do you think I need to get a life? smile ), I think Orthodox theologians such as John Meyendorff have shown sufficiently that Orthodoxy has no problem accepting a Primacy of Honour for the Bishop of Rome.

Of course, you are absolutely right and the idea of universal jurisdiction by one Bishop over other territories is out of the question.

But the idea of someone who feels they didn't get a fair shake from their own bishop and then appealing to the Patriarch or to Rome is also something that was accepted in the first 1,000 years of the undivided Church, eventhough examples of the latter are few. St John Chrysostom is a good example. Rome's letters to the iconoclastic Byzantine Emperor is another.

I don't know if a Canon needs to be in place to formally frame such a relationship between Patriarchs and Churches, which would necessarily grow and change over time.

The historic practice of the Church would be sufficient, it seems to me, to establish precedent and then rule of thumb here.

For example, the way the Moscow Patriarchate is run is much different from the way smaller Churches are, of course.

No one would question the legitimacy of any of them to run themselves as they see fit.

Neither would have anyone have questioned the right of the Pope of Alexandria to run his Africa-wide Church in jurisdictional terms as the "New Pharaoh" once did.

The Ecumenical Patriarch of New Rome certainly has and will excommunicate other Patriarchs for breaches in the canon law, as we know.

Rome, whether it is Old, New or Third, continues to be the operative symbolic locus on which ultimate Church authority is based, either in Catholicism or Orthodoxy, including the Moscow Patriarchate.

Church canons need not be the only source of legitimation in this respect. The long-standing practice of the Church would seem to be another.

Ultimately, Canons are "negative" things, I believe.

The definition of the First Ecumenical Council in 325 was a "negative" definition in terms of a defence of traditional Orthodox Catholic Christology against Arius.

It was occasioned by his heresy and the controversy and damage to the Church it caused.

And yet the Church at that Council affirmed what it has always believed anyway.

My thoughts, for what they're worth.

Just love y'a, Big Guy!

Alex

[ 07-30-2002: Message edited by: Orthodox Catholic ]

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas
#122085 07/30/02 03:31 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 657
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 657
Alex writes:

[I think Orthodox theologians such as John Meyendorff have shown sufficiently that Orthodoxy has no problem accepting a Primacy of Honour for the Bishop of Rome.}

Excuse me Alex but isn't that what I have been saying all along? Clean your glasses and re read what I wrote.

{But the idea of someone who feels they didn't get a fair shake from their own bishop and then appealing to the Patriarch or to Rome is also something that was accepted in the first 1,000 years of the undivided Church, even though examples of the latter are few.}

I have no problem with that and have stated it here and elsewhere in the past.
Rome, as a primacy of Honor, could also be a COURT OF LAST APPEAL, when problems arise between bishops that cannot be resolved by local Synods or counsels.
The key words are COURT OF LAST APPEAL. In other words, Rome can only come into play when all else fails. The highest Supreme Court when the local courts and the sate supreme court cannot resolve the issue. A supreme court overseen by Rome but with representative of all the united Patriarchates on the bench as judges overseen by the Pope and the resolution by popular vote.

OrthoMan

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas
#122086 07/30/02 04:49 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:

>>>While I'm no canonist (I do love reading The Rudder though - do you think I need to get a life? smile ), I think Orthodox theologians such as John Meyendorff have shown sufficiently that Orthodoxy has no problem accepting a Primacy of Honour for the Bishop of Rome.<<<

This is, though, one of those many phrases the meaning of which has changed over the course of centuries, so unless one knows precisely what the term meant in the first millennium, one is likely to get a misappreciation of the reality.

To many Orthodox, the term "Primacy of Honor", as applied to the Ecumenical Patriarch, implies a position similar to that of Lord Mayor of London: He gets to come last in the processions, he gets to speak first and last, he is commemorated in the liturgy, he gets to cut ribbons at ceremonies. In short, it's a position with no real authority, to be safely ignored when inconvenient.

But in Greco-Roman society,a society that was in fact based on concepts like "honor", having a primacy of honor gave one a very great deal of moral authority (auctoritas) based on status and respect (dignitas). In the Roman Republic, for instance, the Princeps Senatus had a primacy of honor among the Senators. He did indeed speak first and last, and everything he said was given great weight because of his auctoritas and dignitas. But in fact, the title conveyed no power (potestas) at all: the Princeps Senatus had no special juridical powers, he had no special standing in law. Everything that made the office and him was in fact charismatic.

So when we speak of the Bishop of Rome having a primacy of honor in the undivided Church, we are not speaking of some emasculated primacy like that held by the Ecumenical Patriarch today, nor are we speaking about a juridically defined supremacy such as found in Pastor Aeternus. We are speaking instead about a kind of moral authority that derives from the fact that the Pope is Bishop of Rome, the Church That Presides in Love. We are speaking of a charismatic primacy that pursuades, strengthens and admonishes, but never imposes, operating in a Church that will accept such a primacy because it has regained an understanding of just what "honor" involves and requires. In other words, a Church based on communion in which all defer to all based upon the gifts God has bestowed upon each.

>>>But the idea of someone who feels they didn't get a fair shake from their own bishop and then appealing to the Patriarch or to Rome is also something that was accepted in the first 1,000 years of the undivided Church, eventhough examples of the latter are few. St John Chrysostom is a good example. Rome's letters to the iconoclastic Byzantine Emperor is another.<<<

The important fact is that intervention could not come as the personal initiative of the Bishop of Rome. He had to wait to be asked.

>>>The historic practice of the Church would be sufficient, it seems to me, to establish precedent and then rule of thumb here.<<<

Except that various Churches have interpreted the precedents in different ways at different times, and, as Archbishop Vsevolod has noted, the persistent habit of Rome sticking its nose where it is not wanted would require the Orthodox Churches to demand explicit juridical limits be placed on the ability of the Pope to make such interventions.

>>>For example, the way the Moscow Patriarchate is run is much different from the way smaller Churches are, of course.<<<

An even better example would be the Coptic Pope of Alexandria, whose writ is far more absolute than that of the Pope of Rome--and always has been.

>>>Neither would have anyone have questioned the right of the Pope of Alexandria to run his Africa-wide Church in jurisdictional terms as the "New Pharaoh" once did.<<<

Just so--though one notes with some chagrin that the Archbishop of Constantinople tried on more than few occasions.

>>>The Ecumenical Patriarch of New Rome certainly has and will excommunicate other Patriarchs for breaches in the canon law, as we know.<<<

Yet, in keeping with the concept of Pentarchy, he could not and cannot simply impose his will by fiat: he must convince other bishops to sustain his excommunications. Often he could not, resulting in odd situations of "mediate communion" (a is not in communion with b, but both are in communion with c, who may be in communion with d who is talking neither to a nor b).

>>>Rome, whether it is Old, New or Third, continues to be the operative symbolic locus on which ultimate Church authority is based, either in Catholicism or Orthodoxy, including the Moscow Patriarchate.<<<

So Archbishop Vsevolod has said, and this was also the conclusion of the Council of Constantinople in 879-880, closer study of which is desperately needed.

>>>Ultimately, Canons are "negative" things, I believe.<<<

This is an important insight. Canons usually tell us what we cannot do. The issuance of a canon is good evidence that the things in question were actuall happening at the time.

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas
#122087 07/30/02 06:36 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,968
DTBrown Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,968
Stuart wrote:

Quote
The important fact is that intervention could not come as the personal initiative of the Bishop of Rome. He had to wait to be asked.


And how was that shown in the case of St Agapetus?

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas
#122088 07/30/02 06:52 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,968
DTBrown Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,968
OrthoMan wrote:

Quote
Until someone can show me an approved Canon that superceded the Canons giving the Pope a primacy of honor and bestowing upon him him supremacy over the entire church I will just lurk from now on. Because
These out of context quotes mean nothing.


I am trying to keep the discussion focused and not let this become a free-for-all.

I am used to hearing "proof-texting" charges and "out-of-context" charges. I'd like to see some evidence that this is what I am actually doing, however.

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas
#122089 07/30/02 09:10 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,968
DTBrown Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,968
Orthoman,

Re: canons.

It is not the position of the Catholic Church that the pope was "bestowed" supremacy by a canon of the Church. So that I will not be charged with "proof-texting" and quoting out of context, I'll cite the interpretation of Anglican historian J.N.D. Kelley in The Oxford Dictionary of Popes as it discusses Pope St Damasus (reigned 366-384):

Damasus was indefatigable in promoting the Roman primacy, frequently referring to Rome as `the apostolic see' and ruling that the test of a creed's orthodoxy was its endorsement by the pope....for Damasus this primacy was not based on decisions of synods, as were the claims of Constantinople, but exclusively on his being the direct successor of St Peter and so the rightful heir of the promises made to him by Christ (Matt. 16:18). This succession gave him a unique juridical power to bind and loose, and the assurance of this infused all his rulings on church discipline.

It's important to note that while J.N.D. Kelley may not share the view that Damasus held of Roman primacy he is here reporting correctly the view Rome had at this time (this about 150 years before St Hormisdas) as well as confirming the Roman usage of "apostolic see" as referring to itself.

In AD 382 St Damasus called a Roman synod which declared: "the holy Roman Church has been set before the rest by no conciliar decrees, but has obtained the primacy by the voice of our Lord and Savior in the gospel." This is a theme which other popes continued to declare.

That the Roman primacy was not viewed as something awarded by the canons is further shown in the commentary given by Archbishop Peter L'Huillier in The Church of the Ancient Councils. Speaking of the phrasing of the 28th Canon of Constantinople, he says:

Moreover, neither the authors of the motion nor the fathers of Chalcedon who approved it had any intention of putting in doubt the primacy of Old Rome. The authorized commentary of the decree given by the imperial commissioners and the letter of the council to Pope Leo were absolutely clear on this point. We note in addition that in the text of the motion different verbal forms are used to indicate the origin of the prerogatives of Rome and Constantinople. In the first case, we find apodedokasi, and in the second apeneiman. The verb apodidonai evokes the idea of "giving to someone what is his due" while aponemein means "to assign" or "to award." In this document, prepared with such care, the use of two different verbs is certainly not an accident. In this way, the authors very discreetly avoided too radical an assimilation: they did not claim, in fact, that the first place of the Roman Church came from a precise canonical act; the fathers, those of the past as well as those at the time of the Council of Constantinople, only recognized a reality which at least in its principle was not questioned. The prerogatives of Constantinople, however, were the result of a definite canonical decision. The Latin translation of the acts edited by Rusticus is aware of this distinction in the Greek verbs. This difference is stressed even more in Greek by the respective use of the perfect and the aorist. [Greek words transliterated](pp. 272-273)

This comment is meant to deal only with Orthoman's comment on canons and the Roman primacy. Archbishop Peter in the work cited above comments in a footnote to this section: "Of course, that did not imply that Rome and the East had the same conception of this primacy, as the historical dossier shows quite clearly..." (footnote 581 on p. 322)

This is where I was hoping the discussion would go in this thread. What was the Roman view of primacy at this time? How much of it was accepted by the East during this period? I think the reality lies somewhere in between the opposing contemporary views of East and West.

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com

[ 07-30-2002: Message edited by: DTBrown ]

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas
#122090 07/30/02 11:17 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 291
O
Member
Offline
Member
O
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 291
All of this wonderful discussion and yet nobody seems to have questioned the translation.

I for one have learned not to trust translations offered by Latin sources as "proof".

I am not suggesting this translation is wrong, but it deserves some reservation at the very least.

Also, it is worthy to mention (as was mentioned), that Justinian favored a policy of alliance with Rome along strictly Chalcedonian lines (hence Hormisdas’ success appearing to make the East eat crow). But in time he sought to play to the the East and had the Three Chapters condemned. Vigilius, bishop of Rome, refused to accede to this condemnation.

Justinian brought Vigilius to Constantinople and forced him to condemn the Three Chapters. And at this point Vigilius was already condemned by the bishops of Milan, Ravenna, and Aquileja - showing that the bishop of Rome did not even have universal power over the West, much less the East. Vigilius later withdrew his condemnation and was locked up on a chain gang when the Second Council of Constantinople convened.

Vigilius asked permission to express his views to the council in writing but received the reply: “If your blessedness is willing to meet together with us and the most holy Patriarchs, and the most religious bishops, and to treat of the Three Chapters and to give, in unison with us all, a suitable form of the orthodox faith, as the Holy Apostles and the holy Fathers and the four Councils have done, we will hold thee as our head and primate... if you have condemned them [the Three Chapters], in accordance with those things which you did before, we have already many such statements and need no more; but if you have written now something contrary to these things which were done by you before, you have condemned yourself by your own writing, since you have departed from orthodox doctrine and have defended impiety. And how can you expect us to receive such a document from you? (From Session VII of the Acts of the 5th Ecumenical Council)” The bishops were thus willing to esteem the Pope their “head and primate,” (not to be confused with authority, obviously) but only if he subscribed to the orthodox faith.

Now what does that prove DTBrown?

[ 07-30-2002: Message edited by: OrthodoxyOrDeath ]

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas
#122091 07/31/02 01:25 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
>>>Damasus was indefatigable in promoting the Roman primacy, frequently referring to Rome as `the apostolic see' and ruling that the test of a creed's orthodoxy was its endorsement by the pope....for Damasus this primacy was not based on decisions of synods, as were the claims of Constantinople, but exclusively on his being the direct successor of St Peter and so the rightful heir of the promises made to him by Christ (Matt. 16:18). This succession gave him a unique juridical power to bind and loose, and the assurance of this infused all his rulings on church discipline.<<<

Damasus, however, was a very marginal figure in the late fourth century Church, the violence surrounding whose accession cast grave doubts upon the legitimacy of his election. In the West, he definitely did not hold pride of place among the Fathers of his time--that honor would have to go to Augustine and Ambrose, whose moral authority greatly outstripped that of the Bishop of Rome. Anything that would enhance the legitimacy and authority of his office was thus of great importance to Damasus.

Moreover, you neglected to note that Damasus was writing in response to the formal elevation by the Council of Constantinople of that city to full patriarchical rank, second only to Old Rome, on the basis of the principle of accommodation (Constantinople was the capital city, on par with Rome as symbolic center of the Empire, ergo, it's see deserved high ranking). This was anathema to Damasus and his successors, who recognized that Rome had become a political and intellectual backwater, and thus would continue to lose influence if the principle of accommodation continued to hold sway. Hence the emergence of the notion of apostolicity, whereby a city founded by TWO Apostles (and the most important, at that), had a right to hold primacy over all others. This notion was only gradually accepted by the other Churches, and its progress can be marked by the emergence of the legend of Andrew as founder of the Church of Constantinople.

>>>It's important to note that while J.N.D. Kelley may not share the view that Damasus held of Roman primacy he is here reporting correctly the view Rome had at this time (this about 150 years before St Hormisdas) as well as confirming the Roman usage of "apostolic see" as referring to itself.<<<

Of course, there were many other Churches referring to themselves in that way. And while it would be a typical Roman solipsism to assume that there could only be ONE Apostolic See, in fact, there were quite a few. The fact is, this argument had very little "traction", as they say, until several centuries later. Popes who brought it up were likely to be treated with bemused toleration (like an eccentric uncle). Perhaps that was the East's problem--not taking Romes own delusions of grandeur more seriously.

>>>In AD 382 St Damasus called a Roman synod which declared: "the holy Roman Church has been set before the rest by no conciliar decrees, but has obtained the primacy by the voice of our Lord and Savior in the gospel." This is a theme which other popes continued to declare.<<<

True, but irrelevant at a time when such a view was not received by the remaining Churches, not even in the West.

>>>That the Roman primacy was not viewed as something awarded by the canons is further shown in the commentary given by Archbishop Peter L'Huillier in The Church of the Ancient Councils. Speaking of the phrasing of the 28th Canon of Constantinople, he says:

Moreover, neither the authors of the motion nor the fathers of Chalcedon who approved it had any intention of putting in doubt the primacy of Old Rome. The authorized commentary of the decree given by the imperial commissioners and the letter of the council to Pope Leo were absolutely clear on this point. We note in addition that in the text of the motion different verbal forms are used to indicate the origin of the prerogatives of Rome and Constantinople. In the first case, we find apodedokasi, and in the second apeneiman. The verb apodidonai evokes the idea of "giving to someone what is his due" while aponemein means "to assign" or "to award." In this document, prepared with such care, the use of two different verbs is certainly not an accident. In this way, the authors very discreetly avoided too radical an assimilation: they did not claim, in fact, that the first place of the Roman Church came from a precise canonical act; the fathers, those of the past as well as those at the time of the Council of Constantinople, only recognized a reality which at least in its principle was not questioned. The prerogatives of Constantinople, however, were the result of a definite canonical decision. The Latin translation of the acts edited by Rusticus is aware of this distinction in the Greek verbs. This difference is stressed even more in Greek by the respective use of the perfect and the aorist. [Greek words transliterated](pp. 272-273)<<<

On the other hand, Dvornik, who took the time to rummage through the Vatican sub-basement, found the earliest lists of canons in Latin, and found that both the disputed canons of Constantinople and Chalcedon were fully accepted by Rome, indicating a recognition that such canons were legitimate and had value.

>>>This comment is meant to deal only with Orthoman's comment on canons and the Roman primacy. Archbishop Peter in the work cited above comments in a footnote to this section: "Of course, that did not imply that Rome and the East had the same conception of this primacy, as the historical dossier shows quite clearly..." (footnote 581 on p. 322)<<<

Well, that goes without saying. The question is how long Rome will continue to maintain a tautological position with regard to primacy ("We get to define what primacy is because we hold the primacy, because we get to define what primacy is") in light of the Pope's request for assistance in finding new definitions and modalities for the operation of primacy. If only Rome can define what primacy is, then there is really no point in holding further ecumenical discussions. "Surrender to the Collective of the Borg. Assimilation is inevitable. Resistance is futile".

>>>This is where I was hoping the discussion would go in this thread. What was the Roman view of primacy at this time? How much of it was accepted by the East during this period? I think the reality lies somewhere in between the opposing contemporary views of East and West.<<<

The short answer is that very little of the Roman self-conception of primacy was accepted anywhere except in Rome.

Re: The Formula of Pope St Hormisdas
#122092 07/31/02 01:28 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
[QUOTE]Originally posted by OrthodoxyOrDeath:
>>>[QB]All of this wonderful discussion and yet nobody seems to have questioned the translation.

I for one have learned not to trust translations offered by Latin sources as "proof".<<<

The translation is accurate, for what it is worth (back then, documents were drafted in both Latin and Greek, and as Latin was still the language of the Imperial administration, the scribes knew what they were writing. But that is neither here nor their. The document can only be understood within its proper sitz im Leben.

>>>Also, it is worthy to mention (as was mentioned), that Justinian favored a policy of alliance with Rome along strictly Chalcedonian lines (hence Hormisdas’ success appearing to make the East eat crow). But in time he sought to play to the the East and had the Three Chapters condemned. Vigilius, bishop of Rome, refused to accede to this condemnation.

Justinian brought Vigilius to Constantinople and forced him to condemn the Three Chapters. And at this point Vigilius was already condemned by the bishops of Milan, Ravenna, and Aquileja - showing that the bishop of Rome did not even have universal power over the West, much less the East. Vigilius later withdrew his condemnation and was locked up on a chain gang when the Second Council of Constantinople convened.

Vigilius asked permission to express his views to the council in writing but received the reply: “If your blessedness is willing to meet together with us and the most holy Patriarchs, and the most religious bishops, and to treat of the Three Chapters and to give, in unison with us all, a suitable form of the orthodox faith, as the Holy Apostles and the holy Fathers and the four Councils have done, we will hold thee as our head and primate... if you have condemned them [the Three Chapters], in accordance with those things which you did before, we have already many such statements and need no more; but if you have written now something contrary to these things which were done by you before, you have condemned yourself by your own writing, since you have departed from orthodox doctrine and have defended impiety. And how can you expect us to receive such a document from you? (From Session VII of the Acts of the 5th Ecumenical Council)” The bishops were thus willing to esteem the Pope their “head and primate,” (not to be confused with authority, obviously) but only if he subscribed to the orthodox faith.

Now what does that prove DTBrown?<<<

At least Vigilius had the good sense to die before being condemned. Good career move.

Page 2 of 5 1 2 3 4 5

Link Copied to Clipboard
The Byzantine Forum provides message boards for discussions focusing on Eastern Christianity (though discussions of other topics are welcome). The views expressed herein are those of the participants and may or may not reflect the teachings of the Byzantine Catholic or any other Church. The Byzantine Forum and the www.byzcath.org site exist to help build up the Church but are unofficial, have no connection with any Church entity, and should not be looked to as a source for official information for any Church. All posts become property of byzcath.org. Contents copyright - 1996-2020 (Forum 1998-2020). All rights reserved.
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4