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"First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective

Posted By: ByzantineAscetic

"First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/17/03 06:31 AM

Dear: Friends

I keep reading about the Orthodox View of "Pope as 1st Among Equals" i would like your thoughts on the matter from both Orthodox Christians, and Byzantine and Roman Catholic's. Thanks

From: Daniel Harrison
In the Holy Theotokos
Posted By: ByzantineAscetic

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/17/03 06:38 AM

Can you guys send me any links, spokin by any early church father supporting, the Orthodox View?THanks

From: Daniel
Through the Theotokos In Christ
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/17/03 03:25 PM

Dear Daniel,

Well, there is the entire history of the Church in the first millennium to be read . . .

Meyendorff's Byzantine Theology and Peter and the Primacy etc. (I forget the exact title names) does an excellent job of presenting the Orthodox view, as does Timothy Ware's "The Orthodox Church."

Basically, it goes like this . . . wink

Bishops have authority of jurisdiction over their territories, Metropolitans and Patriarchs having each their own larger jurisdictions over other Bishops.

The Church based itself on the organization of the Roman Empire itself. "Bishop" or "Episcopus" is the old Roman name for "Mayor" and, like a mayor, his jurisdiction was over an urban unit. The same is true for "Metropolitan" etc.

Even the pectoral chain worn by bishops is modeled after the Roman mayoralty chains - with double loops to signify public responsibility.

The Fourth Ecumenical Council, I believe, established a primary of honour for the Bishop of Rome.

This was exercised at Councils and also with Rome as a "court of final appeal" during periods of crisis when other Churches felt they cannot deal with their own issues and need an outside "referee."

The First Vatican Council, in fact, ratified the tradition of the entire Church in this respect with regards to "primacy of honour" and then went beyond this to define primacy of jurisdiction - which also went beyond what Rome itself exercised following the Schism of 1054.

In fact, the Pope of Alexandria was the one to proclaim that his immediate jurisdiction extended throughout Christian Africa and was over every parish and priest in his Patriarchate.

Jurisdiction within one's patriarchal or episcopal domains is one thing.

To proclaim it over OTHER Churches is something that is really outside the traditional role of any bishop or patriarch of the first millennium AD.

That Rome exercises jurisdiction over its own domains is something no one questions or wishes to take away.

Rome has no business putting its nose into that of other Particular Churches, unless explicitly asked under specific circumstances.

Eastern Catholics also share this view with respect to their own patriarchates and particular Churches.

Alex
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/17/03 05:51 PM

So, then, in your opinion Alex, what are some good books from the (Roman) Catholic POV?

Logos Teen
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/17/03 06:04 PM

Dear Teen Logo,

You mean on the papacy itself?

For my money, John Hardon's Catechism does a superb job of bringing together much accurate information to present a traditional Catholic understanding of the Papacy.

Is there any other kind? smile

Alex
Posted By: MikeJG0185

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/18/03 04:46 AM

So, then,
if anyone says that
the Roman pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and
not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole church, and this
not only in matters of
faith and morals, but also in those which concern the
discipline and government of the church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that
he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that
this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful:
let him be anathema.

This is from the First Vatican Council.

Orthodox Catholic the Pope has every right to put his nose into that of other Particular Churches. Rome exercises jurisdiction not only over its own domains but over the whole universal Church. All Catholics are subject to the Roman Pontiff. All Catholics must believe this.

God Bless,
Michael
Posted By: anastasios

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/18/03 05:15 AM

Quote
Originally posted by MikeJG0185:
So, then,
if anyone says that
the Roman pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and
not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole church, and this
not only in matters of
faith and morals, but also in those which concern the
discipline and government of the church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that
he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that
this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful:
let him be anathema.

This is from the First Vatican Council.

Orthodox Catholic the Pope has every right to put his nose into that of other Particular Churches. Rome exercises jurisdiction not only over its own domains but over the whole universal Church. All Catholics are subject to the Roman Pontiff. All Catholics must believe this.

God Bless,
Michael
It's a good thing that Vatican I was not an ecumenical council, according to Arch. Elias Zoghby (Melkite).

In Christ,

anastasios
Posted By: Jakub.

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/18/03 05:40 AM

In my eyes the Pope is the Bishop of Rome,Patriarch of the West,for the Roman Church.

Guess I've been reading too many Orthodox and Eastern Church books and articles.

In Christ,
James
Posted By: ByzantineAscetic

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/18/03 06:14 AM

Im Byzantine Catholic, so you know my views on the Papacy i believe he has jurisdiction over the entire church. My POV. THanks for the imput, much appreciated, keep on coming with your comments its intresting.

From: Daniel
In Christ
Posted By: Andrew J. Rubis

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/18/03 01:18 PM

I do like Alex's excellent definition, but, at least in the East, Patriarchs do have to remain conciliar in most of their actions. In other words, within each particular autocephalous Church, the Patriarch has authority to ordain, administer, etc, only within his own diocese. However, the other junior bishops of that autocephalous Church are wise to consider his recommendations seriously.

On the non-conciliar side, the Patriarch is President of his Holy Synod and as President has the power to veto any election to the episcopate. He also has authority over "external"
relations with other autocephalous Churches and relations with the national government.

So the Eastern Patriarchs are each sort of "a first among equals" within each particular autochephalous Church.

In Christ,
Andrew.
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/18/03 02:53 PM

Dear Michael,

I do not deny what Vatican I said.

There is no doubt, in my mind at least, that Rome always HAD the right to intervene, jurisdictionally, in the affairs of other Churches.

The crux of the matter is "under what circumstances."

Show me where in Vatican I, or in any other Roman Council, it is said that a Pope may run the internal affairs of an Eastern Patriarchate/Particular Church unilaterally.

And don't forget Vatican II! smile

Especially the Decree on the Eastern Churches.

Have you read that important Decree?

You do recognize Vatican II, don't you? smile

You are not a secevacantist or anything like that, right? smile smile

Many years to His Holiness Pope John Paul II

(And I can say that in Polish, the Pope's native tongue - can you? smile ).

Alex
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/18/03 02:54 PM

Dear Reader Andrew,

Coming from you, that truly IS a great compliment!

Thank you.

Alex
Posted By: MikeJG0185

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/19/03 02:54 AM

Dear Orthodox Catholic,

No, of course I am NOT a sedevacantist. Sedevacantism IS heresy. Here is something from the Council of Vatican II(Orientalium Ecclesiarum)(no.9)

The patriarchs with their synods are the highest authority for all business of the patriarchate, including the right of establishing new eparchies and of nominating bishops of their rite within the territorial bounds of the patriarchate, without prejudice to the inalienable right of the Roman Pontiff to intervene in individual cases.

The Bishop of Rome can intervene in any case whatsoever. He has power over all the bishops. He can bind the bishops to anything. The Pope, if he wanted to could do away with the Byzantine Rite, the Roman Rite, or any rite and make the whole Church one rite. He could make the whole Church Chaldean Rite if he wanted to. As the Universal Bishop and Vicar of Christ he can stick his nose in other Churches business at any time. For he being the Universal Bishop the other Churches "business" is his "business."

Long live His Holiness John Paul II,
Michael
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/19/03 03:17 AM

I like Mike, haha.

'Course none compare to Alex!

Logos Teen
Posted By: Diak

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/19/03 04:13 PM

Mike, I'm sorry but no Pope unilaterally has the authority to destroy Catholic tradition by dismantling Eucharistic rites of immemorial custom. He can, should, and will only intervene in grave matters of faith and morals as we have seen in the time since John XXIII of blessed memory. If some grave liturgical abuses were present that would be one thing. But he absolutely does not have the authority to just legislate at will but rather only in accord with the entire Church. This is what Vatican I intends and this is what every Catholic should believe.

The pontiff is a shepherd and not a dictator and presides in love as the "first among equals".

Perhaps you should read Lumen Gentium, Orientalium Dignitas, Orientale Lumen, and Ut Unum Sint. This Pope has been very conscious about using the Papacy to unite rather than use it as a monarchial office of power such as we saw in the reigh of Pio Nono (who said "nono" a lot, I understand) wink

The current Holy Father has also been vociferous about the need for particular Churches to return to their authentic tradition, which includes particular expressions of liturgical tradition, spirituality, and systems of governance.
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/19/03 04:23 PM

Dear Mike,

Actually, I agree totally with your understanding of the role of the patriarchs over their jurisdictions - you gave a very comprehensive description - good for you.

The Pope of Rome, of course, could do away with anything in his own Latin Church - and he has, especially with respect to the Tridentine liturgy wink

But his authority does NOT extend in the same way over the Particular Eastern Catholic Churches.

In this I think, if I may say so, you are showing an unnecessary disrespect for the Eastern Churches via an ultramontanism that is just not on these days anymore.

His authority is with respect to faith and morals. And whenever the Eastern Churches need an outside arbiter, they can always appeal to Rome.

But other than that, the Pope sticks to his jurisdiction, and we to ours.

That is guaranteed by the individual Acts of Union our Churches entered into in history and it is also guaranteed by Vatican II.

If the Pope or the Vatican ever decided to destroy our Churches, we would exercise our right to oppose Rome in defence of our patrimonies.

As St Robert Bellarmine wrote, and the Church infallibly canonized him and thereby approved all he wrote and taught: "Catholics must oppose the Pope especially if he should ever wish to destroy the Church."

To want to destroy our patrimony would mean a destruction of our Particular Church. And we would oppose that. But that is such a hypothetical case so as to not bear considering!

Alex
Posted By: Inawe

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/19/03 04:50 PM

Dear Mike,

I agree with Alex.

It seems to me to be impossible that the Spirit would allow the Servant of the Servants of God to destroy any particular Church. He has led the Catholic Communion to appreciate most especially the importance of the East in the Church. Documents of Vatican II and the current Pope have renewed our understanding of the truth as expressed in the East. They have further stressed the need to respect the rights of the Eastern Churches to their traditional practices.

The Pope is the touchstone of the Unity of the Churches in the Body of Christ. I find it impossible to conceive of him acting as a detonator causing the destruction of the Church.

More to the point, the current Pope has asked the Eastern Churches to find a way to exercise the Petrine Ministry. He wants to do so in a way that will be faithful to the Ministry and to the traditions of the East and to the practices of the early Church.

Thanks for hearing me out.

Steve
Posted By: Andrew J. Rubis

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/19/03 06:39 PM

If I attempt to distill the statements posted, it seems that what is being said is that the Pope of Rome does have full authority to intervene in issues of faith and morals (Tradition with an upper case "T" or paradosis = that which has been handed down by the apostles to their successors)but not in tradition (tradition with a lower case "t").

I'm glad to hear someone tell us about something in which the Pope of Rome does not have authority to intervene. So much of the perception from those of us outside of the Roman communion is that this authority to intervene is absolute and all-encompassing.

While not denying that these limitations may be real and accepted, the logic of it isn't 100% firm for me.

If one would allow me to handle 1 million dollar transactions, would one deny me authority over the petty cash box?

If one let me cook the main course of the meal, would I be denied the right to boil a glass of water in the microwave oven?

Tradition (upper case) is so much more important than tradition (lower case). It is hard to accept the limitations proposed. I want to believe them. They would be "a good start," speaking as an Orthodox who hopes for eventual unity.

However, the incongruency that I have outlined above leads me to believe that Rome still believes that they have authority over everything inside of their communion, inclusive of the eastern patriarchs and bishops.

With love in Christ,
Andrew.
Posted By: Gideon

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/20/03 02:57 AM

Orthodox view:
"The Rock (petra) is the blessed and only rock of the faith confessed by the mouth of Peter. It is on this Rock of the confession of faith that the Church is built." - St. Hilary of Poitiers, 2nd book on the Trinity

Hilary wrote the first lengthy study of the doctrine of the Church in Latin. Proclaimed a "Doctor of the Church" by the Roman See in 1851, he is called the Athanasius of the Western Church.

'"The word "Rock" has only a denominative value-it signifies nothing but the steadfast and firm faith of the apostles."

In his Letter to Nestorius, St. Cyril says:

"Peter and John were equal in dignity and honor. Christ is the foundation of all -the unshakeable Rock upon which we are all built as a spiritual edifice."

"This one (Peter) is called a rock in order that on his FAITH (Rock) he may receive the foundations of the Church." - St. Gregory Nazianzen, 26th Discourse

"The Rock on which Christ will build His Church means the faith of confession." - St. John Chrysostom, 53rd Homily on St. Matthew

"The Bishop of Alexandria shall have complete control and jurisdiction over Egypt, Libya and the Pentapolis. As also the Roman bishop over those as are subject to Rome. So too, the Bishop of Antioch and the rest of the bishops shall have complete control and jurisdiction over those faithful who are under them."Canon 6 at the First Ecumenical Council

"Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (I Cor. 3:11).

"Certainly Peter, the first of the apostles, himself a member of the holy and universal Church, Paul, Andrew, John-what were they but heads of particular communities? And yet all were members under one Head... "...the prelates of this Apostolic See, which by the providence of God I serve, had the honor offered them of being called universal by the venerable Council of Chalcedon. But yet not one of them has ever wished to be called by such a title, or seized upon this ill-advised name, lest if, in virtue of the rank of the pontificate he took to himself the glory of singularity, he might seem to have denied it to all his brethren..." (Book V, Epistle XVIII) St. Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome
Posted By: MikeJG0185

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/20/03 04:16 AM

Dear Orthodox Christian,

Please do not get me wrong. I hold the other lung of the Church in very high regards. I have even considered switching rites from Roman to Byzantine. Also in the other forum please do not think that I am questioning your allegiance to His Holiness. I am not. You cannot however claim something is the teaching of the Church(that something being the ability to kick a pope out of office)when the Church has never declared such a thing. Yes some theologians, some being saints, have said that. Some other saints have held to my response to this. If you hold this to be a teaching of Holy Mother Church please provide documents. In response to something totally different smile The pope can "destroy" any traditions that he likes. Even though current documents suggest that he leave the Patriarchs to themselves does not mean that the Pope if he wanted to could in a split second change this. This is not a part of the Magisterium which is unalterable, but a matter of discipline(liturgical law). Please note that I am using this as an example. I do feel that the destroying of a rite wouldn't be a good idea, BUT it could be done. If someone were to stop following the pope because he did this they would be leaving the Catholic Church and therefore forfieting their souls. For this IS NOT a matter of faith and morals(something the pope could NEVER change, because the Holy Spirit would not allow it.

God Bless,
Michael
Posted By: anastasios

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/20/03 07:30 AM

Mike,

One cannot lose their soul by switching from Catholic to Orthodox, since both are "the Church".

anastasios
Posted By: Andrew J. Rubis

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/20/03 01:42 PM

Anastasios,

If there were both the same Church then they would be in communion.

In Christ,
Andrew
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/20/03 02:07 PM

Dear Friends,

Ohhhh boy! wink

Alex
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/20/03 02:11 PM

Dear Gideon,

As with everything else, it is all in the interpretation.

St Gregory himself believed that the Petrine See consisted of the Churches of Rome, Antioch and Alexandria TAKEN TOGETHER since Peter founded all three of these sees.

Rome's pre-eminence had more to do with the fact that it was the capital of the Roman Empire and less to do with its Church being founded by the Chief Apostles - St Peter and St Paul founded MANY churches in the East, even in small villages etc.

The Orthodox are used to having Latin Catholics point to such texts to try and "prove" papal supremacy.

They can well counter the arguments, let me assure you!

Alex
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/20/03 02:15 PM

Dear Michael,

Thank you for your comprehensive replies!

Certainly, the Pope could TRY to destroy a liturgical rite or Church - but he would meet with opposition.

Basically, today, if that happened, the East would just tell him to mind his own (Roman Church) business.

And are Latin Catholics thrilled with the Novus Ordo changes today?

I'm not talking about the SSPX, but the many Catholics I've met who hanker for the good old Tridentine days!

And have those changes been good for the Latin Church? It is a matter for debate . . .

And could the future Popes return to the Tridentine Rite? You know they can.

I'm not saying that a Pope can be actually physically removed from office - only that if it should EVER happen that a Pope should espouse heresy, he would no longer be Pope and we would have no obligation to listen to him, no matter how long he decided to stay at the Vatican.

Would you owe obedience to a Pope who was deemed a heretic by the Vatican or by the world bishops in union with him?

Alex
Posted By: Gideon

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/20/03 11:51 PM

Quote
Originally posted by anastasios:
Mike,

One cannot lose their soul by switching from Catholic to Orthodox, since both are "the Church".

anastasios
How can both be the Church?
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/21/03 01:53 AM

Gideon,

IMHO they're not.

Also, there are plenty of writings from the Fathers which explicitly say that Peter is the Rock of Faith, which would make complete sense because "Peter" means "Rock", and God doesn't change people's names for nothing; he does it for symbolism (Abram to Abraham: "Father of Nations", Sarai to Sarah: "princess", etc.).

Alex and Mike,

I think what y'all are arguing is really a moot point because, as Alex stated earlier, no living Pope has ever been accused of heresy. We can cross that bridge when we get there.

Logos Teen
Posted By: anastasios

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/21/03 04:02 AM

Quote
Originally posted by Andrew J. Rubis:
Anastasios,

If there were both the same Church then they would be in communion.

In Christ,
Andrew
Not necessarily true. The MP and the EP were out of communion from each other for 2 weeks in 1996 but both were still Orthodox.

As for Catholic/Orthodox, they are pretty much the same and should be in communion. Sinful hierarchs keep them apart by not sitting down and ironing out the differences.

anastasios
(who has communed in every apostolic Communion [i.e. Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Assyrian Church of the East])
Posted By: anastasios

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/21/03 04:04 AM

Quote
Originally posted by Gideon:
Quote
Originally posted by anastasios:
[b] Mike,

One cannot lose their soul by switching from Catholic to Orthodox, since both are "the Church".

anastasios
How can both be the Church? [/b]
Because both have the body and blood of Christ at communion, and where Christ is the Church is since it is his body (St. Paul); because both have bishops, and where the bishop is is the Church (St. Ignatius of Antioch).

anastasios
Posted By: anastasios

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/21/03 04:05 AM

Friends, I am being oversimplistic, I admit. I know there are substantial differences in some respects between Catholicism and Orthodoxy. However, I don't think that qualifies one from being the Church and the other from not.

In Christ,

anastasios
Posted By: Gideon

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/21/03 05:15 AM

Quote
Originally posted by anastasios:
Friends, I am being oversimplistic, I admit. I know there are substantial differences in some respects between Catholicism and Orthodoxy. However, I don't think that qualifies one from being the Church and the other from not.

In Christ,

anastasios
How modern & latin...
Posted By: anastasios

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/21/03 07:41 AM

Quote
Originally posted by Gideon:
How modern & latin...
What are you talking about?
Posted By: Jenny

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/21/03 11:34 AM

Quote
Originally posted by anastasios:

anastasios
(who has communed in every apostolic Communion [i.e. Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Assyrian Church of the East])
That is so cool! I would love to commune with every apostolic Communion, too.

Janka
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/21/03 04:48 PM

Dear Anastasios,

You da man!

You will be not only a good Church leader, but a great one - of that there can be no doubt, Big Guy!

Alex
Posted By: ByzantineAscetic

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/23/03 05:46 AM

Dear: Gedion,

Glory to Jesus Christ!

The Catholic and Orthodox Church's are still
"The Church" because they still have valid, Apostolic Succession, Valid Orders, and Sacraments.

From: Daniel
In The Holy + Theotokos
A Byzantine Catholic
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/23/03 11:25 PM

Well, I hate to beat a dead horse, but where has the Catholic Church *officially and infallibly* proclaimed that it is not the Church? The most I have heard is that other Christians are somehow connected to the Church (and it is always emphasized that this connection is especially close with the Orthodox Churches), but never denying the reality that the Catholic Church is The Church. "The Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church."

Logos Teen
Posted By: ByzantineAscetic

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/25/03 05:20 AM

Hey guys do you have any book i could read on the issue, ome thhing before im chrismated in the Byzantine Catholic Ruthenian Church, on April 12th Holy Saturday.

Im going to read the Greek Orthodox Archeparchy website, about some stuff. Thanks for the intresting and non-argumentative respones.

From: Daniel
In the Holy+Theotokos
Posted By: Inawe

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/25/03 04:15 PM

Dear Daniel,

Congratulations on your upcoming Chrismation. May the Spirit bless you with the riches that He has prepared for you in the Byzantine Catholic Church.

Steve
Posted By: Andrew J. Rubis

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/26/03 12:51 PM

Dear Anastasios,

You raise a good point re: that Ecumenical Patriarch and Moscovite Patriarch were out of communion for two weeks in 1996.

Yes, they could still both be "in the Church" during those two weeks, but only under the concept used to understand the position of a penitent as being "in the Church" but abstaining from the chalice for a period of time as the result of sin. During that time of pennance, were the penitent to die, for example, he or she would be burried as an Orthodox Christian. Catechumens are treated the same way.

But what you are asserting, that while Rome and Orthodoxy can be openly affirming for hundreds of years that they are not in communion, but still they are both "the Church" is ludicrous, frankly. It blurs all of our understanding of what it means to be in or out of communion. Neither Eastern Church nor Western Church has repented to the other of her refusal to accept the universal jurisdiction of the Pope (Eastern refusal to repent - [thank God!]) or her dogmatic errors (Western refusal to repent).

Your confession or boast (you may choose what to call it) that you have "communed in every Apostolic Communion" seems to reveal this better than any of your previous posts.

Wishing you a blessed feast of the Annunciation!

With love in Christ,
Andrew
Posted By: MikeJG0185

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/27/03 03:20 AM

Dear Anastasios,

Where Peter is, THERE is the Church. It was an ealy Church Father who stated: If one was to abandon the Chair of Peter, could he really know if he was in the Church?

With the love of Christ,
Michael
Posted By: Halychanyn

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/27/03 05:14 PM

Dear Mike:

So, in essence, your argument is that our bretheren the Orthodox (big-O) are not a part of the Christ's church because they have abandoned the Chair of Peter. Please clarify.

Yours,

kl
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/27/03 05:22 PM

Krylos,

Is this not the Catholic Church's official stance, as well as the Orthodox Churches vice versa/from their point of view?

Logos Teen
Posted By: Andrew J. Rubis

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/27/03 05:33 PM

There is a Catholic Church centered in Rome (that includes the Eastern Catholic Churches) and an (Orthodox) Catholic Church with centers in Constantinople, Antioch (Damascus), Alexandria, and Jerusalem. These two Churches both claim to be the one true Church and they are not in communion with each other (despite the sincere and healthy desire of many participants here that they would be). They still have differences to resolve.

The Oriental Orthodox add "a third wheel" to the problem at hand.

Some leaders have referred to the two Churches as "the two lungs" of the body of Christ or as "sister Churhces." However, these same leaders not claimed them to be in communion with one another. We should not presume to go beyond what our leaders teach, unless we are willing to challenge their teaching.

In Christ,
Andrew
Posted By: anastasios

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/27/03 05:50 PM

Quote
Originally posted by MikeJG0185:
Dear Anastasios,

Where Peter is, THERE is the Church. It was an ealy Church Father who stated: If one was to abandon the Chair of Peter, could he really know if he was in the Church?

With the love of Christ,
Michael
Dear in Christ Mike,

St. Ignatius of Antioch framed the Church in this way: "Where the bishop is, there let the multitude (of believers) be; even as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church" (Ad Smyr., viii., 2)

The Church is where CHRIST is, not where Peter is. And Christ is where the Eucharist is. The Eucharist is where a bishop is. They are all tied together. Each local Church is THE Church in its fullness; each local Church IS the Catholic Church. If all Churches in the world except the Diocese of Timbuktu were blown up by a nuclear bomb, according to Eastern understanding the Church would still be complete. The West believes that the Papacy is necessary for the Church to be complete (which makes me wonder what would happen if the Cardinals could not elect a new Pope, as once happened for 2 years in papal history?)
The East says that each local Church under its bishop is THE CHURCH and they share the Eucharist, which makes them one with other local, full Churches. "Catholic" did not mean "universal" in the early Church but rather "fullness".

Sorry to get sidetracked. The East also believes that ALL bishops are Peter. Here are two quotes to demonstrate this; I could amass more but two suffice. A good book is J. Meyendorff, ed. The Primacy of Peter Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary Press, 1992, which explains thorougly and non-polemically the Orthodox (Eastern position) on the Papacy. Many Eastern Catholics would probably say that that is what they believe as well, only they would recognize that the primacy continues to exist in Rome whereas Orthodox do not see this as the case any longer (for the most part).

The great Origen, master biblical exegete, had this to say (Origen was later condemned for heresy, but that for which he was condemned was totally distinct from that which he writes here):

Quote
But if you suppose that upon that one Peter only the whole church is built by God, what would you say about John the son of thunder or each one of the Apostles? Shall we otherwise dare to say, that against Peter in particular the gates of Hades shall not prevail, but that they shall prevail against the other Apostles and the perfect? Does not the saying previously made, "The gates of Hades shall not prevail against it," hold in regard to all and in the case of each of them? And also the saying, "Upon this rock I will build My church"? Are the keys of the kingdom of heaven given by the Lord to Peter only, and will no other of the blessed receive them? But if this promise, "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven," be common to the others, how shall not all the things previously spoken of, and the things which are subjoined as having been addressed to Peter, be common to them? For in this place these words seem to be addressed as to Peter only, "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven," etc; but in the Gospel of John the Saviour having given the Holy Spirit unto the disciples by breathing upon them said, "Receive ye the Holy Spirit," etc. Many then will say to the Saviour, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God;" but not all who say this will say it to Him, as not at all having learned it by the revelation of flesh and blood but by the Father in heaven Himself taking away the veil that lay upon their heart, in order that after this "with unveiled face reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord" they may speak through the Spirit of God saying concerning Him, "Lord Jesus," and to Him, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." And if any one says this to Him, not by flesh and blood revealing it unto Him but through the Father in heaven, he will obtain the things that were spoken according to the letter of the Gospel to that Peter, but, as the spirit of the Gospel teaches, to every one who becomes such as that Peter was. For all bear the surname of "rock" who are the imitators of Christ, that is, of the spiritual rock which followed those who are being saved, that they may drink from it the spiritual draught. But these bear the surname of the rock just as Christ does. But also as members of Christ deriving their surname from Him they are called Christians, and from the rock, Peters. And taking occasion from these things you will say that the righteous bear the surname of Christ who is Righteousness, and the wise of Christ who is Wisdom. And so in regard to all His other names, you will apply them by way of surname to the saints; and to all such the saying of the Saviour might be spoken, "Thou art Peter," etc., down to the words, "prevail against it." But what is the "it"? Is it the rock upon which Christ builds the church, or is it the church? For the phrase is ambiguous. Or is it as if the rock and the church were one and the same? This I think to be true; for neither against the rock on which Christ builds the church, nor against the church will the gates of Hades prevail; just as the way of a serpent upon a rock, according to what is written in the Proverbs, cannot be found. Now, if the gates of Hades prevail against any one, such an one cannot be a rock upon which Christ builds the church, nor the church built by Jesus upon the rock; for the rock is inaccessible to the serpent, and it is stronger than the gates of Hades which are opposing it, so that because of its strength the gates of Hades do not prevail against it; but the church, as a building of Christ who built His own house wisely upon the rock, is incapable of admitting the gates of Hades which prevail against every man who is outside the rock and the church, but have no power against it.
Origen, Commentary on Matthew complete text here

Quote
If any one consider and examine these things, there is no need for lengthened discussion and arguments. There is easy proof for faith in a short summary of the truth. The Lord speaks to Peter,10 saying, "I say unto thee, that thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."11 And again to the same He says, after His resurrection, "Feed nay sheep."12 And although to all the apostles, after His resurrection, He gives an equal power, and says, "As the Father hath sent me, even so send I you: Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they shall be remitted unto him; and whose soever sins ye retain, they shall be retained; "13 yet, that He might set forth unity, He arranged by His authority the origin of that unity, as beginning from one. Assuredly the rest of the apostles were also the same as was Peter, endowed with a like partnership both of honour and power; but the beginning proceeds from unity.14 Which one Church, also, the Holy Spirit in the Song of Songs designated in the person of our Lord, and says, "My dove, my spotless one, is but one. She is the only one of her mother, elect of her that bare her."15 Does he who does not hold this unity of the Church think that he holds the faith? Does he who strives against and resists the Church16 trust that he is in the Church, when moreover the blessed Apostle Paul teaches the same thing, and sets forth the sacrament of unity, saying, "There is one body and one spirit, one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God? "17
St. Cyprian, On the Unity of the Catholic Church complete text here

Hope this gets you started on the road of exploration. One more book recommendation if I may: J. Zizioulas, Being As Communion also by SVS Press.

In Christ,

anastasios
Posted By: Amadeus

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/27/03 06:03 PM

Dear Andrew:


The 4 centers you mentioned have long ceased to be the "centers" of Orthodoxy, or of Christianity for that matter: they are a mere shadow of their old selves.

Pitiably, these so-called centers have declining influence on Orthodoxy in general, the foremost reason, I believe, is their being engulfed now in a sea of Muslim believers.

As to calling your Church, (Orthodox) Catholic Church, well . . .uhmm!


AmdG
Posted By: Halychanyn

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/27/03 07:13 PM

Dear Teen:

OK, let's accept your premise that the Catholic (big-C) Church teaches that the Orthodox (big-O) churches around the world are not truly Christ's Church becasue they do not recognize the Roman Pontiff as the only legimitate successor to Peter.

How, then, do you square this with the Chruch of Rome's official and published stance of valid apostolic succession in (for example) the Church of Constantinople? Better yet, what about the laws of the Latin church which state that those who have received the sacraments of initiation in (most of) the Orthodox chruches are welcome to participate in communion?

This is where I was going in my response to Mike's post: If we continue to excommunicate each other (yes, I use the present tense for a reason) and claim that the other is not truly Christ's church, how are we ever to find the commonalities between us which we hope and pray will lead to a true reunion of the spirit?

As Atanasios so elloquently points out, we may not need to lock ourselves into thinking that the only possible formulation for the Chair of Peter is with one person occupying the office of the Bishop of Rome and Patriarch of the West.

Yours,

kl
Posted By: Amadeus

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/27/03 07:53 PM

Dear KL:

I would like to quote the official stance of the Catholic Church on this matter, upon which Logos Teen based his statement that the Church established by Jesus Christ SUBSISTS IN the Catholic Church:

Quote
16. x x x. The Catholic faithful are required to profess that there is an historical continuity — rooted in the apostolic succession53 — between the Church founded by Christ and the Catholic Church: “This is the single Church of Christ... which our Saviour, after his resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care (cf. Jn 21:17), commissioning him and the other Apostles to extend and rule her (cf. Mt 28:18ff.), erected for all ages as "the pillar and mainstay of the truth' (1 Tim 3:15). This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in [subsistit in] the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him”.54 With the expression subsistit in, the Second Vatican Council sought to harmonize two doctrinal statements: on the one hand, that the Church of Christ, despite the divisions which exist among Christians, continues to exist fully only in the Catholic Church, and on the other hand, that “outside of her structure, many elements can be found of sanctification and truth”,55 that is, in those Churches and ecclesial communities which are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church.56 But with respect to these, it needs to be stated that “they derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church”.57

17. Therefore, there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him.58 The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches.59 Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the Catholic Church, since they do not accept the Catholic doctrine of the Primacy, which, according to the will of God, the Bishop of Rome objectively has and exercises over the entire Church.60

On the other hand, the ecclesial communities which have not preserved the valid Episcopate and the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic mystery,61 are not Churches in the proper sense; however, those who are baptized in these communities are, by Baptism, incorporated in Christ and thus are in a certain communion, albeit imperfect, with the Church.62 Baptism in fact tends per se toward the full development of life in Christ, through the integral profession of faith, the Eucharist, and full communion in the Church.63


For the full text of "Dominus Iesus," please see:

Link to "DOMINUS IESUS"

Thanks for bearing with me.


AmdG

Modified by Admin to change the link to keep the page from being very wide. I recommend to participants that they make use of the "Instant UBB Code" feature for long links. It can be found just below the text box when composing a post. Just click on "URL" and you will be promted to enter the link, then you will prompted to enter the title of the link. Thanks!
Posted By: Halychanyn

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/27/03 08:24 PM

Dear AmG:

So, in other words, the point made earlier that the Orthodox churches who are not "in perfect communion" with Rome (whatever that means) are not a part of Christ's Church was incorrect. Thank you. My point has been made.

While admitting to a bias here, I still cannot help but read the Church of Rome's position as somehwat contradictory. While in one breath it says that these estranged churches are "particular," in another breath it continues to preach the doctrine of Primacy which, as I humbly interpret it, states that we must all accept the Roman "Emperor" model of church governance.

Yours,

kl
Posted By: Amadeus

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/27/03 08:57 PM

Dear KL:


I disagree with your assessment that the Papal system of Church governance mimics that of imperial Rome, as far as it may tend to characterize it as dictatorial and, therefore, abusive.

Rather, I think the Pope's exercise of his Petrine Ministry has resembled more that of a service to all of Christendom. (Personally, of all the Pope's titles, I like "Servant of the Servants of God" best.)

Not content with the current perception of his role, Pope John Paul II opened his papacy to suggestions, more specifically from the Orthodox, for a "definition" or "redefinition" of his role for the sake of Christian unity.

I happen to glance at the Zenit news bulletin a while ago and read, with a little trepidation, that theologians from around the world will participate tomorrow in a videocnference on "The Primacy of Peter."

The item is frightfully short on details but I hope someone in this Forum (paging the Administrator!!!) could confirm the participation of certain Orthodox theologians in this historic exercise.

AmdG
Posted By: MikeJG0185

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/28/03 12:09 AM

Dear Anastasios,

All bishops are NOT the successor of St. Peter. To say that the Pope is just a bishop with only jurisdiction over his own diocese and Patriarchate is a heresy. He has jurisdiction over the whole world. By citing works of the Early Church Fathers you are merely giving theological opinions. Anyway Origen is taking the verse from Matthew and using it to correct something. A verse can be used to mean different things. You are Catholic correct? You as a Catholic are obligated to believe that the Papacy is necessary for the Church. For Christ Himself instituted the Papacy. The Church that Christ instituted SUBSIST IN the Catholic Church under the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ. That is what the Church teaches. That is what must be believed by all Catholics.

In Christ,
Michael
Posted By: Mor Ephrem

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/28/03 01:27 AM

Dear Michael,

May I ask you why, if that is the teaching of the Catholics, that the conferral of the office of the Papacy, however it is done, is not considered a sacrament? Someone once asked this question in another public forum, and it was a good question that I never heard answered. Certainly, by some of the things you have said in your post above, it would sound like the Papacy should be counted among the sacraments. Do you have any thoughts on this?
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/28/03 01:37 AM

Thanks for your input, kl.

Quote


How, then, do you square this with the Chruch of Rome's official and published stance of valid apostolic succession in (for example) the Church of Constantinople? Better yet, what about the laws of the Latin church which state that those who have received the sacraments of initiation in (most of) the Orthodox chruches are welcome to participate in communion?

The Catholic Church has never stated that the Eastern Orthodox Churches to not have valid Orders/Apostolic Succession (validity of the sacraments falls under this).

Quote


This is where I was going in my response to Mike's post: If we continue to excommunicate each other (yes, I use the present tense for a reason) and claim that the other is not truly Christ's church, how are we ever to find the commonalities between us which we hope and pray will lead to a true reunion of the spirit?

We will find commonalities by expressing what we believe to be the Truth. True ecumenical dialogue can only be fueled by honesty. The Catholic Church has made abundantly clear that:

Quote
17. Therefore, there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him.
In the above truth we see that the Church of Christ is defined as the Catholic Church "governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him." However much one wishes it weren't true, this quite obviously discludes the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

That said, this must be taken in light of the follwing:

Quote
58 The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches.59 Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the Catholic Church, since they do not accept the Catholic doctrine of the Primacy, which, according to the will of God, the Bishop of Rome objectively has and exercises over the entire Church.60
To me, this seems to be saying that the Apostolic Churches, although the Church of Christ does not subsist in them, have, by way of their Apostolic Succession and valid Eucharist, certain characteristics and operations of Christ's Church.
Of course, this is my private interpretation and to be sure I would have to consult a Catholic priest.

I sincerely hope I have not offended anyone. Please understand it is not my intention to do so. My intentions are only to regurgitate faithfully and truthfully what the Holy Catholic Church has iterated.

Pax Christi,
Logos Teen
Posted By: anastasios

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/28/03 03:19 AM

Dear Michael,

We are going to have to agree to disagree because I refuse to do this anymore. It's not your fault but every month or two a Roman Catholic with preconceived notions about what "Catholics must believe" comes to this website and at first asks questions but then starts telling us how we're wrong when we disagree.

All bishops are Peter. That is a patristic teaching. If you want to accord the Pope primacy of honor and primacy of appeal, be my guest.

>>>To say that the Pope is just a bishop with only jurisdiction over his own diocese and Patriarchate is a heresy. He has jurisdiction over the whole world.

Byzantine Catholics generally accord the Pope a right to intervene in our Churches as a mediator but we reject the unilateral jurisdiction of the Popes over our Church in its every detail. Our Church simply doesn't work that way. Whenever Rome has tried to push the issue they lost great numbers of us to Orthodoxy, so they know better now. Rome gradually developed its ideas about the primacy within its own context without consulting the other Churches. An ecumenical Council between east and west has never solved the issue about the Papacy so the question is still open to debate. Your position is valid but so is mine. If you are thinking that Vatican I is an ecumenical council, no we don't count it as an ecumenical council in the sense of the first 7. We count 7 in our liturgy (which is the primary source of our dogmatic beliefs, over any catechism) and our catechism "the Mystery Believed" "the Mystery Celebrated" etc. (a 3 part series) accepts 7 councils and then the later Roman general synods. They aren't the same. Orthodox are part of the Church and Vatican I did not include them. Rome can't say when the schism actually occurred between east and west and it says in Dominus Iesus that Orthodox Churches are Particular Churches but lacking communion with the Pope, so it only follows that part of the Church was not present at Vatican I (or the other western synods) so it is not ecumenical.

>>>You are Catholic correct? You as a Catholic are obligated to believe that the Papacy is necessary for the Church.

I am a BYZANTINE CATHOLIC. Don't try and separate the two aspects, for they are one in our mind. Byzantine Catholics are not "obligated" to believe Latin understandings of the Church. We can admit that you have one approach while having our own approach which is different.

>>>For Christ Himself instituted the Papacy. The Church that Christ instituted SUBSIST IN the Catholic Church under the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ. That is what the Church teaches. That is what must be believed by all Catholics.

Byzantine Catholics do believe that Christ instituted the Papacy. But we disagree on what that means. Christ did not institute the Papacy as it developed at Vatican I, for sure. Since it is clearly then a development we can suggest it developed wrong and is open to change, although some Byzantine Catholics are happy to think the way you do.

I am not trying to be confrontational but please understand it's hard to deal with being told what I as a "generic" Catholic "have" to believe when I am NOT a generic Catholic but rather am Byzantine Catholic, and I don't live out what you are telling me I "have" to believe. I live out a different theological system and a different spiritual system than you do, and our Church comes from a different historical experience. Your stay here will be fruitful if we can learn from each other, not tell each other the other is wrong and believes a "heresy".

In Christ,

anastasios
Posted By: Administrator

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/28/03 04:43 PM

Quote
Originally posted by MikeJG0185:
Dear Anastasios,

All bishops are NOT the successor of St. Peter. To say that the Pope is just a bishop with only jurisdiction over his own diocese and Patriarchate is a heresy. He has jurisdiction over the whole world. By citing works of the Early Church Fathers you are merely giving theological opinions. Anyway Origen is taking the verse from Matthew and using it to correct something. A verse can be used to mean different things. You are Catholic correct? You as a Catholic are obligated to believe that the Papacy is necessary for the Church. For Christ Himself instituted the Papacy. The Church that Christ instituted SUBSIST IN the Catholic Church under the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ. That is what the Church teaches. That is what must be believed by all Catholics.

In Christ,
Michael
Dear Michael.

Might I suggest that your presentation of Catholic theology is a bit incomplete?

All bishops are successors of St. Peter and are certainly Peter in their own dioceses. This fact does not does not lessen the Bishop of Romeís being Peter to the entire Church in a special way as first among equals. His primacy is one of authority, not one of power. His primacy is because he is the eldest brother of the college of bishops, not because he is the father of them. His primacy comes from the fact that he is the ordinary of the Diocese of Rome. This is not heresy but solid Catholic teaching. You seem to have latched onto the external authoritarian models of the papacy in the Church and missed the fact such models are rooted in a primacy of love. Without understanding the primacy of love one cannot understand the papacy. While there is some disagreement among Churches about this primacy a good study of the Trinity and the primacy of the Father will help you understand the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. Please donít reduce it to a simple chain of totalitarian command.

I think that the issue here is mainly one of communication. You have come into an Eastern Christian family. The theological language you speak (that of the Latin Church) is one that we do not use nor intend to use. You are equally unfamiliar with the theological language of the East. I suggest that you might take some time to familiarize yourself with the way we live out the life in Christ before you enter our house with guns blazing, shooting anything that deviates from your pre-conceived ideas on what it means to be Catholic.

Best wishes to you during this season of the Fast.

Admin
Posted By: MikeJG0185

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/29/03 02:06 AM

Dear Mor Ephrem,

There are seven sacraments in the Church: 1.Baptism 2.Confirmation(Chrismation) 3.The Eucharist 4.Penance 5.Annointing of the Sick(Extreme Unction) 6.Matrimony 7.Holy Orders

All of these were instituted by Christ Himself. There can NEVER be anymore or anyless sacraments than these 7. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christians's life of faith. There is thus certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life.(1210) Sacraments are "powers that comes forth" from the Body of Christ, which is ever-living and life-giving. They actions of the Holy Spirit at work in his Body, the Church. They are "the masterworks of God" in the new and everlasting covenant."(1116)

The Papacy is NOT a sacrament nor could it ever be one. It is an office founded by Christ. An office that only one man at a time can hold. The man who holds the office of the papacy is the Vicar of Christ.

God Bless,
Michael
Posted By: Mor Ephrem

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/29/03 03:30 AM

Quote
Originally posted by MikeJG0185:
The Papacy is NOT a sacrament nor could it ever be one. It is an office founded by Christ. An office that only one man at a time can hold. The man who holds the office of the papacy is the Vicar of Christ.
Dear Michael,

If a sacrament is something instituted by Christ that confers grace upon the recipient, why wouldn't the Papacy fit? After all, you admit that the Papacy was instituted by Christ, and one could argue that the "grace", for lack of a better word, of papal infallibility is conferred by assuming this office (certainly, the current Pope did not have this grace when he was Archbishop of Krakow). Perhaps there is more to the Latin understanding of what a sacrament is? At any rate, it sounds to me like one could argue that the Papacy could be considered a sacrament based on what Catholics seem to believe about it, and the only thing that could put a stop to such an argument is the fact that the Latins say there are only seven sacraments, no more, no less. But then one should answer why the Papacy is what they say it is, and yet is not a sacrament. It's an interesting question, and to date (including your most recent reply), no one's been able to answer it for me. Perhaps next time... wink God bless.
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: "First Among Equals" Cath/Ortho Perspective - 03/29/03 05:52 PM

Well, Mor, I know we just talked about this, but I'll put it up for everyon to see in case they're interested...

The Papacy is not considered a sacrament, for one, because it is reversible and and be resigned, such as with Pope Gregory XII and Pope St. Celestine V.

Logos Teen
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