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#422722 09/15/22 05:12 PM
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How do we interpret canon 6 of the first council of Nicea?

"Let the ancient customs in Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis prevail, that the Bishop of Alexandria have jurisdiction in all these, since the like is customary for the Bishop of Rome also. Likewise in Antioch and the other provinces, let the Churches retain their privileges. And this is to be universally understood, that if any one be made bishop without the consent of the Metropolitan, the great Synod has declared that such a man ought not to be a bishop. If, however, two or three bishops shall from natural love of contradiction, oppose the common suffrage of the rest, it being reasonable and in accordance with the ecclesiastical law, then let the choice of the majority prevail."

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This was during a time when the only Metropolitans were the Bishops of Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria, the so called Petrine sees.

My take would be that the election of a bishop depends on 1) consent of the primate and 2) majority vote of the fellow bishops within an ecclesiastical province.

I suppose this is why even though some eastern churches allow laity and clergy to participate in elections of bishops, the council or synod of bishops still has the final vote on the matter.

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Also why the participation of at least three Bishops is required for the Consecration of a Bishop.

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Actually, "two or three bishops." This refers back to Our Lord's words "where two or three are gathered in My Name, there I AM."

Some old manuscripts prescribe the Sign of the Cross to be made "two or three" times. And the service of Matins can be "fulfilled" by "two or three" kathismata of the Psalter (and more).

That has always been fascinating to me . . .

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This is a challenging canon as it does show the petrine "sees" (yes plural). The issue that is found here, as well as many other documents and history, is that you do not see a supreme monarchial bishop ruling the Church but actually that it was more of a metropolitan jurisdiction that was granted to the 5 "sees". Conciliar type of government seems to be not only prevalent but the only thing you see period for the first 1000 years. It appears to be changed with Pope Gregory the VII with his reformations (although Matthew 16 was not used until around 382 to defend the 'Papacy' so there were changes prior to Gregory the VII).

I say all this to mention that this canon should be problematic for Catholics (it is for me). I am struggling with the papacy as it has made errors, heresies and gone against dogmas and doctrines already established and solidified by the Church. What are we to do? One errors seems to negate all of the papacy which would then leave us all to become Orthodox....wouldn't it?

I am not trying to fight but to have a healthy dialogue on the subject. Thank you in advance to all that wish to discuss with me.

Glory to Jesus Christ

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Dear Andrew,

Dialogue is always good. Styles of the Petrine Ministry can change and have changed. That is no "heresy." The Monothelite heresy - well, the entire Church signed onto that.

Today, Orthodox theologians engaged in ecumenical dialogue with their RC counterparts tend to agree that they believe the same things (so said the Ecumenical Patriarch at one point).

There were more heresies espoused in the East than at Rome - an historical fact, also because the East was theologically vibrant long after Rome was relegated to the (important) role of ecclesial-imperial referee.

And do you think there are no issues within Orthodoxy? Have you been following the news? There is a schism between Moscow and Constantinople going on right now.

What do you think of the current patriarchal incumbent in the Russian Orthodox Church?

Alex

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On the other hand, if you really feel called to become Orthodox (not in communion with Rome), then do consider being in communion with Constantinople!

Stay away from that "other patriarchate."


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