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My alarm bells are clanging like mad. There is no Eastern Orthodox objection whatever to the title of Patriarch of the West, nor does that title preclude establishing other Western patriarchates (just as the title of the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East does not interfere with other Eastern Patriarchs). The claim that this is to avoid the implication that the Catholic Church is just the Church of the West doesn't hold water; the Catholic Church is not just the Archdiocese of Rome, but that doesn't in the least stop the Pope from being Bishop of Rome.

Moreover, there have been repeated suggestions - from such luminaries as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger - that one of the appropriate steps in ecumenical outreach towards the Eastern Churches is a greater understanding of the role of the Patriarch of the West.


Grrrrr!

Incognitus

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Quote
Originally posted by Amadeus:
P.S. Al, don't you worry about the "imposition" of clerical celibacy on the Eastern Churches. The Pope will always limit its application to the Latin Rite Church, or so I hope biggrin
WHEW!! Thanks, Amado! Just when we were getting "oh so close," too... biggrin

Actually, my concern is not so much imposed celebacy in the Eastern Churches... it's this:

I've often used this very example when my Latin brethren would say to me things like "Catholic priests cannot be married - the Pope says so!" I'd retort with "The Pope doesn't say so... it's the Patriarch of the West who says so!" -after which I'd explain the differing roles the pontiff assumes.


NOW what am I gonna do?? frown wink

Al

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This is the explanation which seems to be the most credible. (See Catholic News Agency for the whole story).

"The cardinal said that in the past some people used the title to provoke negative comparisons between the claims of universal jurisdiction by the worldwide "Patriarchate of the West" and the more restricted size and jurisdiction of the traditional Orthodox patriarchates.

"It seems to me the pope wanted to eliminate this type of comparison and that his gesture is meant to stimulate the ecumenical journey," Cardinal Silvestrini said.

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Dear Al:

You can explain that the Pope, as Supreme Pontiff, can always differentiate between the West and the East as to the application of disciplinary and "other" matters. wink

Amado

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The more I think about it, the more I think it doesn't matter. The Pope is in control of Latin Catholics all over the world, and in control of Eastern Catholics outside of their patriarchal boundaries.

The Orthodox Patriarchs by the same token also oversee a flock that has and hopefully will continue to rapidly expand in the West. They are not simply Patriarchs of the East, and shouldn�t think in those terms any more than it appears the Roman Pontiff thinks of himself as only being the bishop of the West.

Andrew

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Originally posted by Shawn:
This is the explanation which seems to be the most credible. (See Catholic News Agency for the whole story).

"The cardinal said that in the past some people used the title to provoke negative comparisons between the claims of universal jurisdiction by the worldwide "Patriarchate of the West" and the more restricted size and jurisdiction of the traditional Orthodox patriarchates.

"It seems to me the pope wanted to eliminate this type of comparison and that his gesture is meant to stimulate the ecumenical journey," Cardinal Silvestrini said.
The Pentarchial system is dead. With the growth of autocephaly in the East and the fractioning of the Patriarchates of the South, East and Centre (Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem) I can understand why Pope Benedict XVI did this. To the best of my knowledge the other Patriarch's named as jurdistictional by the canons of Chalcedon no longer use their regional titles so I dont think it means much.


"We love, because he first loved us"--1 John 4:19
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Dear Friends,

After considering this matter for a bit, like Andrew here, I think I understand the Pope's move in this regard.

He appears to be moving to a restoration of a more ancient Papacy and this title is the newest of the new, as I understand and as Incognitus could correct me (although I don't need to invite Incognitus to correct me . . . wink ).

He is restoring numerous papal traditions that have fallen into disuse - I understand His Holiness is doing the visits to the "Station Churches" in Rome for Lent (?)

He is following a more pastoral model of the papacy and would like to define the Petrine Ministry as one of universal service.

That's O.K. by me!

Alex

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Dear Al

Glory to Jesus Christ!

I am trying to recall some information, so I could be mistaken. When the Pope was using the �Triple Tiara� (which current Popes no longer use), it stood for Bishop of Rome, Patriarch of the West, and Pope of the Universal Church. I always thought that significance was very appropriate.

In fact, I have heard it said that 80% of what the Pope does � visiting the faithful of many countries etc. � is that in his capacity as Patriarch of the West.

Finally, if taking this step is perceived by Rome as assisting Ecumenical relations with the Orthodox, the Church is saying that this relationship is important, and that adjustments to the current position are open to consideration. If these adjustments lead to a better relationship then it was a positive step. If there is a negative movement, then this could easily be withdrawn. The importance of this action is showing openness to moving the relationship forward.

May you have a most blessed Great Fast.

Deacon El

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Bless, Father Deacon El,

Please forgive me for correcting you - the Tiara's three levels stood and still stand for the absolute executive, legal and legislative powers of the Pope of Rome.

Viva Il Papa!

Alex

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The term "Vicar of Christ" should be dropped since it is only a secular political term given to the Emperor! The Pope can "bind and loose" because he is the "Vicar of Peter". The Emperor is "Vicar of Christ" on Earth because he can enforce the secular moral order and execute criminals like Christ will do at the Last Judgment.

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Dear Theophilus,

Ah, yes!

The Pope cannot be the "Vicar of Peter" since Peter is simply the representative of Someone else and is not the Sovereign, Who is OLGS Jesus Christ.

He can only be the "Successor of Peter."

You are exact to say that the "Vicar of Christ" title is derived from the Emperor of the Christian Roman Empire, East and West.

The Pope of Rome, however, has seen himself as a kind of successor to the Emperor himself to fill the vaccum of power left when Christian Imperial Rome was no longer.

This is also why the Pope has appropriated to himself the ancient Roman imperial title of "Pontifex Maximus."

And the Pope wears red shoes - another imperial tradition and is, in every way, a Sovereign Monarch who is so recognized by the international secular community.

This is why governments will acknowledge the Pope of Rome as a "Head of State" without getting into the tricky issue of church/state relations.

They will not do the same for Eastern Orthodox Patriarchates.

Alex

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if the Phanar or any other Patriarchal residence was to be separated from the country it is in and then those Patriarchs would be in the same situation as the Vatican City State.

As for the red stuff. The Archishop of Cyprus has the right to use Red to sign his name wich was granted by a Roman Emperor.

ICXC
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For those of you whose "alarm bells" have been going off regarding this topic, and also for those of you who have been questioning the need for the Pope to drop this title (because the Orthodox have never had a problem with it): does anyone think that maybe this could have something to do with America? Isn't there perhaps at least a small bit of a movement toward a unified American Orthodoxy? And wouldn't there perhaps then be a problem with the "Patriarch of the West" title? Maybe something like that is in mind.

Not sure how plausible that is, but it's been running through my head as a possibility.

God bless,
Maximos

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Dear Maximos,

You make a good point, but somehow I don't think that is it. The Patriarch of a united Orthodox church in the U.S. (which I highly doubt will happen in my lifetime) would probably be Patriarch of North and South America or something like that.

In Christ,
Alice

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Originally posted by incognitus:
My alarm bells are clanging like mad. There is no Eastern Orthodox objection whatever to the title of Patriarch of the West, nor does that title preclude establishing other Western patriarchates (just as the title of the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East does not interfere with other Eastern Patriarchs). The claim that this is to avoid the implication that the Catholic Church is just the Church of the West doesn't hold water; the Catholic Church is not just the Archdiocese of Rome, but that doesn't in the least stop the Pope from being Bishop of Rome.

Moreover, there have been repeated suggestions - from such luminaries as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger - that one of the appropriate steps in ecumenical outreach towards the Eastern Churches is a greater understanding of the role of the Patriarch of the West.


Grrrrr!

Incognitus
Dear Incognitus,

I don't think that I have ever heard you get quite this angry! frown

In any case, your alarm bells notwithstanding, your post was most informative and logical. Thanks. smile

In Christ,
Alice

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