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Peter's Primacy

In another Fathers Know Best tract, Peter the Rock, we showed that the early Church Fathers recognized that Peter is the rock of whom Christ spoke when he said, "You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church." This tract highlights some of the implications of that fact. 

Because Peter was made the foundation of the Church, there were practical implications: it gave him a special place or primacy among the apostles. As the passages below demonstrate, the early Church Fathers clearly recognized this. 


 

Clement of Alexandria



"[T]he blessed Peter, the chosen, the preeminent, the first among the disciples, for whom alone with himself the Savior paid the tribute [Matt. 17:27], quickly g.asped and understood their meaning. And what does he say? ‘Behold, we have left all and have followed you’ [Matt. 19:27; Mark 10:28]" (Who Is the Rich Man That Is Saved? 21:3–5 [A.D. 200]). 

 

Tertullian



"For though you think that heaven is still shut up, remember that the Lord left the keys of it to Peter here, and through him to the Church, which keys everyone will carry with him if he has been questioned and made a confession [of faith]" (Antidote Against the Scorpion 10 [A.D. 211]). 

"[T]he Lord said to Peter, ‘On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. . . . Upon you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys, not to the Church" (Modesty 21:9–10 [A.D. 220]). 

 

The Letter of Clement to James



"Be it known to you, my lord, that Simon [Peter], who, for the sake of the true faith, and the most sure foundation of his doctrine, was set apart to be the foundation of the Church, and for this end was by Jesus himself, with his truthful mouth, named Peter, the first fruits of our Lord, the first of the apostles; to whom first the Father revealed the Son; whom the Christ, with good reason, blessed; the called, and elect" (Letter of Clement to James 2 [A.D. 221]). 

 

Origen



"f we were to attend carefully to the Gospels, we should also find, in relation to those things which seem to be common to Peter . . . a great difference and a preeminence in the things [Jesus] said to Peter, compared with the second class [of apostles]. For it is no small difference that Peter received the keys not of one heaven but of more, and in order that whatsoever things he binds on earth may be bound not in one heaven but in them all, as compared with the many who bind on earth and loose on earth, so that these things are bound and loosed not in [all] the heavens, as in the case of Peter, but in one only; for they do not reach so high a stage with power as Peter to bind and loose in all the heavens" (Commentary on Matthew 13:31 [A.D. 248]). 

 

Cyprian of Carthage



"The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.’ . . . On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all [the apostles] are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition [A.D. 251]). 

 

Cyril of Jerusalem



"The Lord is loving toward men, swift to pardon but slow to punish. Let no man despair of his own salvation. Peter, the first and foremost of the apostles, denied the Lord three times before a little servant girl, but he repented and wept bitterly" (Catechetical Lectures 2:19 [A.D. 350]). 

"[Simon Magus] so deceived the city of Rome that Claudius erected a statue of him. . . . While the error was extending itself, Peter and Paul arrived, a noble pair and the rulers of the Church, and they set the error aright. . . . [T]hey launched the weapon of their like-mindedness in prayer against the Magus, and struck him down to earth. It was marvelous enough, and yet no marvel at all, for Peter was there—he that carries about the keys of heaven [Matt. 16:19]" (ibid., 6:14). 

"In the power of the same Holy Spirit, Peter, both the chief of the apostles and the keeper of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, in the name of Christ healed Aeneas the paralytic at Lydda, which is now called Diospolis [Acts 9:32–34]" (ibid., 17:27). 

 

Ephraim the Syrian



"[Jesus said:] Simon, my follower, I have made you the foundation of the holy Church. I betimes called you Peter, because you will support all its buildings. You are the inspector of those who will build on Earth a Church for me. If they should wish to build what is false, you, the foundation, will condemn them. You are the head of the fountain from which my teaching flows; you are the chief of my disciples. Through you I will give drink to all peoples. Yours is that life-giving sweetness which I dispense. I have chosen you to be, as it were, the firstborn in my institution so that, as the heir, you may be executor of my treasures. I have given you the keys of my kingdom. Behold, I have given you authority over all my treasures" (Homilies 4:1 [A.D. 351]). 

 

Ambrose of Milan



"[Christ] made answer: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church. . . .’ Could he not, then, strengthen the faith of the man to whom, acting on his own authority, he gave the kingdom, whom he called the rock, thereby declaring him to be the foundation of the Church [Matt. 16:18]?" (The Faith 4:5 [A.D. 379]). 

 

Pope Damasus I



"Likewise it is decreed . . . that it ought to be announced that . . . the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by the conciliar decisions of other churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it; and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . . ’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. The first see, therefore, is that of Peter the apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither stain nor blemish nor anything like it" (Decree of Damasus 3 [A.D. 382]). 

 

Jerome



"‘But,’ you [Jovinian] will say, ‘it was on Peter that the Church was founded’ [Matt. 16:18]. Well . . . one among the twelve is chosen to be their head in order to remove any occasion for division" (Against Jovinian 1:26 [A.D. 393]). 

"Simon Peter, the son of John, from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, brother of Andrew the apostle, and himself chief of the apostles, after having been bishop of the church of Antioch and having preached to the Dispersion . . . pushed on to Rome in the second year of Claudius to overthrow Simon Magus, and held the sacerdotal chair there for twenty-five years until the last, that is the fourteenth, year of Nero. At his hands he received the crown of martyrdom being nailed to the cross with his head towards the ground and his feet raised on high, asserting that he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord" (Lives of Illustrious Men 1 [A.D. 396]). 

 

Pope Innocent I



"In seeking the things of God . . . you have acknowledged that judgment is to be referred to us [the pope], and have shown that you know that is owed to the Apostolic See [Rome], if all of us placed in this position are to desire to follow the apostle himself [Peter] from whom the episcopate itself and the total authority of this name have emerged" (Letters 29:1 [A.D. 408]). 

 

Augustine



"Among these [apostles] Peter alone almost everywhere deserved to represent the whole Church. Because of that representation of the Church, which only he bore, he deserved to hear ‘I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven’" (Sermons 295:2 [A.D. 411]). 

"Some things are said which seem to relate especially to the apostle Peter, and yet are not clear in their meaning unless referred to the Church, which he is acknowledged to have represented in a figure on account of the primacy which he bore among the disciples. Such is ‘I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,’ and other similar passages. In the same way, Judas represents those Jews who were Christ’s enemies" (Commentary on Psalm 108 1 [A.D. 415]). 

"Who is ignorant that the first of the apostles is the most blessed Peter?" (Commentary on John 56:1 [A.D. 416]). 

 

Council of Ephesus



"Philip, presbyter and legate of [Pope Celestine I] said: ‘We offer our thanks to the holy and venerable synod, that when the writings of our holy and blessed pope had been read to you . . . you joined yourselves to the holy head also by your holy acclamations. For your blessednesses is not ignorant that the head of the whole faith, the head of the apostles, is blessed Peter the apostle’" (Acts of the Council, session 2 [A.D. 431]). 

"Philip, the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See [Rome] said: ‘There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever both lives and judges in his successors’" (ibid., session 3). 

 

Pope Leo I



"Our Lord Jesus Christ . . . has placed the principal charge on the blessed Peter, chief of all the apostles, and from him as from the head wishes his gifts to flow to all the body, so that anyone who dares to secede from Peter’s solid rock may understand that he has no part or lot in the divine mystery. He wished him who had been received into partnership in his undivided unity to be named what he himself was, when he said: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church’ [Matt. 16:18], that the building of the eternal temple might rest on Peter’s solid rock, strengthening his Church so surely that neither could human rashness assail it nor the gates of hell prevail against it" (Letters 10:1 [A.D. 445). 

"Our Lord Jesus Christ . . . established the worship belonging to the divine [Christian] religion. . . . But the Lord desired that the sacrament of this gift should pertain to all the apostles in such a way that it might be found principally in the most blessed Peter, the highest of all the apostles. And he wanted his gifts to flow into the entire body from Peter himself, as if from the head, in such a way that anyone who had dared to separate himself from the solidarity of Peter would realize that he was himself no longer a sharer in the divine mystery" (ibid., 10:2–3). 

"Although bishops have a common dignity, they are not all of the same rank. Even among the most blessed apostles, though they were alike in honor, there was a certain distinction of power. All were equal in being chosen, but it was given to one to be preeminent over the others. . . . [So today through the bishops] the care of the universal Church would converge in the one See of Peter, and nothing should ever be at odds with this head" (ibid., 14:11). 

https://www.catholic.com/tract/peters-primacy

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John 21:15-17

15 And when they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, dost thou care for me more than these others? Yes, Lord, he told him, thou knowest well that I love thee. And he said to him, Feed my lambs. 

16 And again, a second time, he asked him, Simon, son of John, dost thou care for me? Yes, Lord, he told him, thou knowest well that I love thee. He said to him, Tend my shearlings.[2]

17 Then he asked him a third question, Simon, son of John, dost thou love me? Peter was deeply moved when he was asked a third time, Dost thou love me? and said to him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou canst tell that I love thee. Jesus said to him, Feed my sheep.

http://www.newadvent.org/bible/joh021.htm

 

 

The passage receives an admirable comment from St. Chrysostom:

He saith to him, "Feed my sheep". Why does He pass over the others and speak of the sheep to Peter? He was the chosen one of the Apostles, the mouth of the disciples, the head of the choir. For this reason Paul went up to see him rather than the others. And also to show him that he must have confidence now that his denial had been purged away. He entrusts him with the rule [prostasia] over the brethren. . . . If anyone should say "Why then was it James who received the See of Jerusalem?", I should reply that He made Peter the teacher not of that see but of the whole world. 
[St. John ChrysostomHomily 88 on John, 1. Cf. Origen, "In Ep. ad Rom.", 5:10; Ephraem Syrus "Hymn. in B. Petr." in "Bibl. Orient. Assemani", 1:95; Leo I, "Serm. iv de natal.", 2].

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I, sta sad na osnovu ovih reci sv.Jovana, .... kada je postao patrijarh Carigrada, da li je priznavao i pisao o supreme vlast pape i Rima nad svom Crkvom ?

Pa, naravno da nije, jer ovaj njegov citat po kontekstu stvari ne govori o tome, nego Jovan vise hvali veru i uciteljstvo Petrovo kao autoriteta po casti i slavi,.... (stoji prevod.....    the chief authority.... najveci autoritet..).... ne po vlasti nad crkvama ...

Ima ovde sta tacno sv.Jovan misli o Petru kao steni :

http://bible.optina.ru/new:mf:16:18#svt_ioann_zlatoust

"На сем камне». Не сказал: «на Петре», потому что он создал Свою Церковь не на человеке, но на вере. Что же это была за вера? «Ты – Христос, Сын Бога Живого» (Мф.16:16). Церковь назвал скалой, подвергающеюся действию волн, но не колеблющеюся. Церковь испытывает искушение, но не побеждается ими. Итак, что значит: «на камне»? Исповедание состоит в словах. Ведь ты не камни бросаешь? Не дерево? Не железо? «Нет, – говоришь, – здесь речь не о такого рода здании, которое, из чего бы оно ни состояло, подлежит разрушению от руки времени». Исповедание же не могут преодолеть и демоны."

I Jovan sve prica kako crkvu nece pokoriti vrata paklena zbog te vere i ispovedanja, jednostavno ucitavati sv.Jovanu priznavanje papske vlasti krajem 4.veka posle 2.Vaselj. sabora koji je izjednacio Rim i Carigrad nema osnovu.

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пре 8 часа, Bokisd рече

I, sta sad na osnovu ovih reci sv.Jovana, .... kada je postao patrijarh Carigrada, da li je priznavao i pisao o supreme vlast pape i Rima nad svom Crkvom ?

Pa, naravno da nije, jer ovaj njegov citat po kontekstu stvari ne govori o tome, nego Jovan vise hvali veru i uciteljstvo Petrovo kao autoriteta po casti i slavi,.... (stoji prevod.....    the chief authority.... najveci autoritet..).... ne po vlasti nad crkvama ...

Ima ovde sta tacno sv.Jovan misli o Petru kao steni :

http://bible.optina.ru/new:mf:16:18#svt_ioann_zlatoust

"На сем камне». Не сказал: «на Петре», потому что он создал Свою Церковь не на человеке, но на вере. Что же это была за вера? «Ты – Христос, Сын Бога Живого» (Мф.16:16). Церковь назвал скалой, подвергающеюся действию волн, но не колеблющеюся. Церковь испытывает искушение, но не побеждается ими. Итак, что значит: «на камне»? Исповедание состоит в словах. Ведь ты не камни бросаешь? Не дерево? Не железо? «Нет, – говоришь, – здесь речь не о такого рода здании, которое, из чего бы оно ни состояло, подлежит разрушению от руки времени». Исповедание же не могут преодолеть и демоны."

I Jovan sve prica kako crkvu nece pokoriti vrata paklena zbog te vere i ispovedanja, jednostavno ucitavati sv.Jovanu priznavanje papske vlasti krajem 4.veka posle 2.Vaselj. sabora koji je izjednacio Rim i Carigrad nema osnovu.

 

oEirene 0051 = Katolícky kňaz súhlasí s pravoslávnymi 

Je Kristova Cirkev založená na Petrovi alebo na jeho viere, alebo je to nerozlučiteľné?

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7th Century Africa - Roman Primacy

                                                                   the_virgin_mary_and_jesus_-_detail_2848027251

Following the history of the Council of Constantinople III in A.D. 553, the oikumenical Church was faced with the difficulties of Emperor Justinian’s condemnation of the Three Chapters. Many Western churches had refused to accepted the decrees of the 5th Ecumenical Council, and it was the promptings of the Pope’s in the 6th century which made some effective headway for restoring communion. The Papacy took some what of a hit since the Pontificate of Vigilius & Pelagius in the eyes of many in the West, and, in particular, the African episcopate, because they understood the Papacy to have capitulated to the Byzantine Caesaropapism. For them, the divine constitution of the Church was Apostolic succession, with the primal head being St. Peter’s successors in Rome. However, since, for them, Rome had succumbed under the thumb of the Emperors, it was time for them to rely on the Papal teaching pre-Byzantine captivity (i.e. Chalcedon & Pope Leo’s Tome). And so when we enter the 7th century, one wonders if any Western churches thought that Rome’s institutional primacy was defunct. We get an answer to this question with the Western response to the heresy growing in the East which said Christ, because He is a single Person, only has a single will. British Professor of Late Antique and Byzantine Studies and offspring from Cambridge, Dr. Judith Herrin, describes the response of the African churches in the below citation, and I think it aptly describes the role of the Roman primacy. Often times the rigorous theological work had been done outside the Roman See, such as St. Maximos’ florigelium against Pyrros, the Studite monks on Icons, St. Cyril of Alexandria against Nestorius,  St. Athanasius against Arius, and St. Augustine against Pelagius. And yet, while the champions of orthodoxy are winning well in their respective regions, they all knew that the Roman See was where official condemnations were to be passed. It would be like today, where witnesses, video footage, the suspect, and victim all can provide the perfect knowledge as to the cause of the crime, and yet it remains to be examined and judged by the judicial system of a particular state. That best describes the divine institutionalization of Christ in Peter’s primacy (i.e. Rome’s primacy). It doesn’t entail the heights of theological expertise, but only a vehicle through which Christ judges whether something is passable or not. Herrin writes:

“While many issues continued to divide Christians in different parts of the oikoumene during the seventh century, it was the Monothelete theory of Christ’s will that brought theological disagreement to a head in the 640s.

                                                               theodorus_i.jpg

Once again Rome confronted successive Patriarchs of Constantinople, accusing them of introducing novelties – and wrong ones – into the established faith.

Once again, the dioceses of Africa championed this defence of orthodoxy, under the influence and leadership of eastern monastic opponents of the ‘one will, one energy’ doctrine. When these Monothelete errors had been exposed by Maximos’s defeat of Pyrros in the public debate of 645, the Africans turned to Rome, asking Pope Theodore to excommunicate the heretics.

They begged him to anathamatise Monotheletism as incorrect theology; they asked for their own criticisms to be forwarded to Constantinople by papal legates – in short, they recognised the institutional position of the apostolic throne [Rome] as the channel through which a condemnation of the East should be made…

 

In their appeal to Rome, they highlighted the see of St. Peter as the sole Christian centre with the historical weight and authority to pronounce on theological definitions of dubious orthodoxy…They appealed to the pope as the inheritor of St. Peter, the rock on which Christ had laid his foundation, stating their conviction that it was his duty to oppose the heretics of Constantinople and return them to orthodoxy.” (The Formation of Christendom, Pg 250-51)

 

https://erickybarra.org/2017/02/08/7th-century-africa-roman-primacy/

 

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Byzantium and the Roman Primacy

by Francis Dvornik

 

The most important and the most controversial point in all endeavors for rapprochement of other Churches with the Roman Catholic Church is undoubtedly the question of the Roman Primacy in Christianity. The denial of this prerogative to the Bishop of Rome by the Orthodox is, perhaps, the only serious obstacle on the way to reunion of the Eastern Churches with the Roman Church. The many polemic writings issued in the East and in the West from the eleventh century, denying or defending the primary position of the Roman Bishop, have, so far, failed to produce the desired effect on either side. Mutual distrust caused mostly by political divisions and the different development of the Church's organization in East and West, manifested particularly from the eleventh century on, have often embittered the minds of the controversialists and prevented the faithful on both sides from considering the problem without prejudice.

Instead of repeating all the known arguments pro and contra, let us try the historical method and examine the position which the Byzantine Church took on this problem from earliest times on up to the period when the estrangement between the Eastern and Western parts of mediaeval Christianity became apparent and began to envenom the atmosphere in which the Churches had to live.

The Roman Bishops, from the beginning, derived their prestige from the fact that St. Peter, the chief of the Apostles, had died and was buried in Rome. Although some think that no absolute evidence for Peter's stay in Rome can be quoted from before the last quarter of the second century, that is, from around the year 180 (from the letter of Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, to Rome, and from the testimony of Irenaeus), the Eastern Church had never denied the fact that St. Peter had stayed and had died in Rome. Not one of the numerous cities in the East which had been visited by Peter had ever boasted of the honor of providing his last resting place, and no ancient writer denies that Peter went to Rome. Although this is only an argument from silence, it is still very powerful, and it adds considerable weight to the testimonies mentioned above and to the numerous evidences from the third and the fourth centuries.

Up until the fourth century, however, the Roman Bishops had another reason for feeling they should be regarded as the first in the Christian commonwealth. Their See was, at the same time, the residence of the Emperors and the capital of the Roman Empire. It is very often forgotten that the early Church found a model for her organization in the political divisions of the Roman Empire rather than in the apostolic tradition. This form of Church organization was initiated by the Apostles themselves, who, for practical reasons, had to respect and to use the organization they found in the world in which they lived. They started preaching in the capitals of the major cities of the Roman provinces because there they found important Jewish communities, and it was from these centers that Christianity spread through the provinces and to other communities.

The future organization of the Church was thus foreshadowed by the Apostles when Peter addressed letters to the communities of Galatia, Pontus, Cappadocia, and Asia, and Paul to the capitals of the political provinces of the Empire (Rome, Ephesus, Corinth, Thessalonika). A passage in the second Epistle to the Corinthians (II Cor. 1:1) indicates clearly that these letters were meant to be sent by the bishops of each capital to other cities of the province. Although this does not mean that the bishops of these cities received from the Apostles a superior place in the original hierarchy of the Church, it was natural that the bishops of the capital of a civil province should enjoy a certain prestige over the bishops of other provincial cities. So it happened that from the outset the Church was obliged, for reasons of practical expediency deriving from the political and economic conditions of the Roman Empire, to adapt its ecclesiastical organization to the political divisions of the Empire.1

The same factor also influenced the origins and the organization of the Synods. When it became necessary to discuss important problems arising from the spread of Christianity throughout the different provinces and from the development of doctrine, the meeting places of the bishops was again dictated, not by the consideration that the See of any particular city was founded by an Apostle, but rather by administrative expediency. The political centers of the provinces were the natural places for such meetings, and the initiative of convoking the local Synods and the privilege of presiding over its debates was left to the bishops of the provincial capitals, called Metropoles. Such was the origin of the metropolitan organization. It has also been shown recently that the sessions of the Synods were held according to the same rules which were observed at the meetings of the Roman Senate and of the local municipal assemblies.2

Also, the supra-metropolitan organization which resulted in the formation of the first Patriarchates of Rome, Alexandria and Antioch, owes its origin, not to the apostolic foundation of these cities, but to the fact that they were the most important cities of the Empire, the capitals of groups of provinces. Rome was more privileged in this way, because it was the capital of the Empire and the residence of the Emperors. Owing to the intimate connection of all Italian cities with the city of Rome by which they were regarded only as municipia, the Bishops of the capital of Italy and of the Empire were able to preserve direct jurisdiction over the whole of Italy, without the intermediary of the Metropolitans of the provinces, into which Italy was subdivided.

This development in the organization of the Church was sanctioned by the First Oecumenical Council of Nicea in 325. Canon Six of the Council also acknowledged the rights of the Roman See over the whole of Italy, and the Fathers suggested that the exercise of these rights by the Bishop of Rome over Italy was a precedent that should serve as a good example to the Bishop of Alexandria and, partially, also to the Bishop of Antioch. Thus even the supra-metropolitan organization found its basic sanction in the Council of Nicaea. Even Rome adapted itself to the principle that the ecclesiastical organization should follow the political division of the Empire. When Italy was divided into two political dioceses with the capitals of Rome and Milan, Milan became automatically a metropolis with jurisdiction over the North of Italy, and the direct jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome was limited to the provinces of central and southern Italy, called suburbicariae.3

The organization of Christianity in other Western provinces also followed the rule of accommodation to the political division of the Empire. The prestige of the Roman Bishop in Gaul, Africa, Spain, and Illyricum was great from the beginning, however, thanks not only to the circumstance that many of the first missionaries there came from Italy and Rome, and that Rome was the center of the Empire and the official residence of the Emperors, but also because of the veneration in which young Christian communities in the West held St. Peter, the founder of the Roman See and the chief of the Apostles, whose successors the Bishops of Rome claimed to be.

It should be pointed out, however, that the idea of the Roman Bishops' direct succession from the Apostle Peter had to undergo a certain evolution before it acquired its full meaning. The early Christians regarded the Apostles as universal teachers charged by Christ with spreading His doctrine throughout the world. They venerated them as founders of the churches in the cities where they had preached the new Faith, and where they had resided for some time, but they did not count them as the first Bishops of these cities. The lists of Bishops in the cities where the Apostles had worked were headed, not by the Apostles, but by the first disciples appointed by them to continue their work.

This custom was practiced also by Rome in the first period of her Christian life. The earliest known list of Roman Bishops given by St. Irenaeus of Lyon (who died in 202) designates not only Peter, but also Paul, as founder of the Church of Rome.4 As the first Bishop of Rome is designated Linus, who was ordained by the Apostles. It is possible that Irenaeus of Lyon used the Roman catalogue of Bishops established by Hegesippus.5 If he did, this would be another indication that what he said concerning Peter and Paul was in the oldest Roman tradition. Hippolytus' list likewise does not count Peter or Paul among the Roman Bishops. Although Pope Callixtus (217-22) is said by Tertullian6 to have connected the origins of Christianity in Rome only with Peter (since he is the first to have used the famous passage of Matt. 16:18 f.), the custom of attributing the origins of Roman Christianity to Peter and Paul and not to designate Peter as the first Roman Bishop continued to be observed in the West, in some cases, up to the fifth century.

The so-called Liberian Catalogue from the year 3547 is the first which introduces the practice which became general, of attributing the origins of Roman Christianity to Peter only, and to place his name at the head of the Roman Bishops. This failure to stress Peter's function as founder and as first Bishop of the Roman Church seems to indicate that, as long as Rome was the capital of the Empire and the Imperial residence, its privileged position in Christianity was sufficiently guaranteed because all ecclesiastical organization was modeled according to the political divisions of the Empire.

This, of course, does not mean that the Romans did not regard the activity of Peter in Rome as the main reason for their primacy in the young Church. When, however, Constantinople became the residence of the Emperors, it seemed necessary to lay more stress on the Apostolic and Petrine character of the Roman See. From the middle of the fourth century on, the Roman See was often called in the West, simply the See of Peter, and this use became general also in Rome during the time of Pope Damasus (336-89) who emphasized further the apostolic character of his See, calling it simply: sedes apostolica. From that time on, this usage became a general rule not only in Rome, but also in the whole of the West.8

This stressing of the apostolicity of the Roman See in the West is easy to understand. There was in the whole West only one See which could claim an apostolic origin, and that was the Roman See.

In the Eastern part of the Empire the situation was different. There, several important Sees could claim the honor of having been founded by an Apostle: these were Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria and Ephesus. Besides these, less important Sees in Asia Minor and Greece were at least visited by the Apostles, according to the Acts and apocryphal writings on the activities of the Apostles, which began to appear as early as the second century. This circumstance naturally reduced the prestige in the East of the claim to apostolicity, and contributed to the easy victory gained for the principle of adaptation to the political division of the Empire. In reality, we find up to the fifth century only a few instances in which the apostolic character of those cities is mentioned.

Such was the situation in the Eastern part of the Empire, and things must be viewed in this light. That the Church had adapted the organization of its hierarchy to the territorial division of the Roman Empire, and to its administrative system, is generally recognized. But not all are ready to admit the logical consequences of this, or to consider the further evolution of the Church's organization, especially the rise of Constantinople, in the light of this fact. However, only in this light can the first conflict between Rome and Constantinople, which is often interpreted as an attempt at a denial of the primacy of Roman Bishops in the Church by the Easterners, be explained and understood.

This conflict is said to have arisen in 381 when the Synod of Constantinople, later accepted as the Second Oecumenical Council, exempted the Bishop of Constantinople from the jurisdiction of the metropolitan of Heracleia, and conferred upon him a rank second only to that of the Bishop of Rome, because Constantinople had become the residential city of the Emperor.

It is believed that the reaction in Rome to this innovation was very strong. In reality this was not the case. Originally the Council was not meant to be oecumenical, because only the prelates of the Eastern part of the Empire were invited to assist by the Emperor Theodosius. The original intentions of the conciliar Fathers were to reorganize the ecclesiastical affairs of the Eastern dioceses and to legislate for them alone. The ecclesiastical situation in the East was disturbed by the uncanonical interventions of Peter II of Alexandria (373-80/81) in the affairs of Antioch and Constantinople where he wanted to install prelates of his own choice. His intervention in Constantinople was particularly glaring. He sent there a number of Egyptian Bishops escorted by a mob of Alexandrian sailors and ordered them to consecrate and install his candidate Maximus, a philosopher, in place of the lawful titulary St. Gregory of Nazianzus. The Emperor intervened and the Synod of 381 condemned this provocative action which manifested the intention of the Bishop of Alexandria to establish his supremacy over the whole East. In order to break the hold of Alexandria over the Eastern dioceses for good, it was decided to give to Constantinople the precedence over other Eastern churches.

Because the principle of adaptation to the political divisions of the Empire was the leading and decisive factor in Church organization, especially in the East, and stressed again at the Council of 381, and because Constantinople had become a residential city, the Canon promoting its Bishop encountered no opposition among the Eastern prelates. Peter's brother and successor, Timothy of Alexandria, had to swallow this bitter pill and he signed the decisions of the Council, its Creed and its Canon. The Bishop of Alexandria thus ceded the right of precedence, which he had hitherto possessed in the East, to the Bishop of the Imperial capital.9

When all this is borne in mind, it becomes clear that this first promotion of the Bishopric of Constantinople was in no way inspired by an anti-Roman bias. Because the Council was originally meant to be the gathering of Eastern Bishops and had to deal with Eastern religious affairs, the decisions of the Council were not even communicated officially to Pope Damasus, as Leo I himself later testified.10 The provisions of the Council were, however, known soon afterwards in Rome and, because the principle of accommodation to the political division of the Empire was) at that time, still accepted in Rome, Pope Damasus made no objection to this promotion of the Imperial city, although Alexandria used to be in very close contact with Rome. In this way, this first so-called conflict between Byzantium and Rome can be satisfactorily explained. The Bishop of Rome continued to be regarded as the first Bishop of the Empire, the head of the Church.

More serious would seem to be the second conflict between Byzantium and Rome which originated at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, when the Fathers voted, in the absence of the Papal legates, the so-called Twenty-eighth Canon confirming Constantinople as having second place in Church organization, and giving to her Bishops direct jurisdiction over the dioceses of Thrace, Pontus and Asia.11 It is known that the Papal legates protested against this vote and that Pope Leo I (440-61) rejected this Canon with sharp criticism. The question now arises as to whether or not it was the intention of the Eastern Fathers really to question the primacy of the Bishop of Rome in making the Bishop of Constantinople equal to him.

We have again to examine first why it was the Eastern Fathers thought it necessary to reaffirm the leading position of the Bishop of Constantinople in the East. One of the reasons again was the attitude of the Alexandrian Bishops. Although they had accepted the decision of the Council of 381, they still continued their aggressive pursuit of power in the Eastern Church. Bishop Theophilus of Alexandria (385-412) intrigued against St. John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, and succeeded in obtaining a decree from the Emperor which drove the saintly bishop into exile unjustly. His nephew and successor, St. Cyril (412-44), accused the Bishop of Constantinople, Nestorius (428-31), of heresy and obtained his condemnation and deposition at the Council of Ephesus (431). It is now generally accepted that Cyril accomplished this by means which were very questionable, and many scholars have doubts as to whether or not Nestorius' teaching was really heretical.

It is well known how Dioscorus, Bishop of Alexandria and promoter of monophysism, once more humiliated Constantinople in allowing her Bishop, the saintly Flavian (441-49), to be condemned by the irregular and ill-famed Synod of Ephesus, justly called the Robber Synod (Latrocinium). Flavian was treated so badly by Dioscorus' men that he died from the injuries. 12

From all this it was evident to the Orthodox Fathers that Alexandria, then in the hands of an heretical Bishop, should not be allowed to continue in her pretensions to the leadership of the East. This could be done only as a result of further promotion of Constantinople, confirmed by a new Council which was, this time, oecumenical from the beginning.

On the other hand, we must not forget that, in order to obtain general approval for such a measure, the Fathers could not afford to alienate the Pope, who had played a prominent role during the final stages of the dogmatic struggles with the monophysites of Alexandria, and whose representatives were still present at Chalcedon. It would, therefore, be illogical to suppose that the Fathers intended to deny the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, a primacy which had just made itself particularly apparent in the triumph of orthodoxy at Chalcedon.13

This primacy had been once more clearly proclaimed at Chalcedon by the legates when they quoted the Roman version of Canon Six of Nicaea. The old Latin translation prefaced the wording of the Canon as follows: Romana ecclesia semper habuit primatum. Although the Roman version differed from the original, also read at the same last session of the Council by the Greeks, the Fathers did not protest against such a glaring declaration of the primacy of the Roman Church, and did not even question the authenticity of the Roman version of the Canon and its preface. 14

Moreover, the fact that the Fathers of the Council, the Patriarch of Constantinople Anatolius, and the Emperor Marcian himself insisted in their letters that the Pope should sign the Canon is sufficient indication that the conciliar Fathers saw in its wording no offensive against Rome.15

In order to understand the negative position of the legates and of the Pope after the vote of this Canon, we have to consider that the Canon gave to Constantinople more privileges than did Canon Three of the Council of 381. The legates and the Pope were ready to accept the idea that the See of Constantinople, because it was the residence of the Emperor, should be given precedence over the two other Eastern Sees of Alexandria and Antioch. To this extent they could pay lip service to the old principle of adaptation to the political organization of the Empire which was still, at that time, generally accepted. Canon Three of the Council of 381 granted, in reality, to the See of Constantinople, only honorary precedence, but did not extend the jurisdiction of that See. The delegates also accepted Canons Nine and Seventeen of Chalcedon, which granted to the Bishops of Constantinople a status of concurrent instance of appellations, because it did not substantially alter their position.16

Canon Twenty-eight of Chalcedon, however, advanced the See of Constantinople to a position of great power in the East, giving her jurisdiction over the minor dioceses of the Empire (Thrace, Pontus, and Asia) as well as over the new missionary lands. This amounted to the creation of an immense, new, ecclesiastical power in the East which, because it had the support of the Emperors, could become exceedingly dangerous to the unity of the Church and to the primacy of Rome.

What would certainly have aroused any Westerner against such a measure was the fact that the Fathers, although guaranteeing in the same Canon Rome's ancient privileges, had completely neglected to stress either the apostolic character of that See or the fact that the Pope was the successor of Peter, the Prince of the Apostles. Because of this Pope Leo I refused to sign the Canon and opposed the principle that there should be correlation between the rank of a city in the civil administration and the place of that city's See in the ecclesiastical hierarchy. He insisted, on the other hand, that the rank of a See should be determined by the principles of the apostolic character of its foundation. Thus Rome has primacy in the Church, not because she was a capital of the Empire, but because of the Petrine origin of the Roman See. Alexandria is second in rank because she was founded by Peter's disciple, St. Mark. Antioch is the third in the hierarchy because of her connection with St. Peter and because the name "Christians" first arose there. Constantinople has no special position in the Church hierarchy because she was not founded by an Apostle. Moreover, this promotion of Constantinople contradicted the Sixth Canon of the Council of Nicaea which had allotted the first three places in the Church to Rome, Alexandria and Antioch.17

In this way the argument of the apostolicity and of the Petrine tradition was introduced by Leo I into the disputes between the East and West and remained, for centuries to come, the main argument used by the Roman canonists against the pretensions of Constantinople to a privileged position in the Church.

Leo's fears are easily understood. Rome had lost her great prerogative as the center of the Empire and the residential city of the Emperors, and had retained only her apostolic character and her successorship to St. Peter as justification for her claim to the primacy in the Church. Leo the Great foresaw correctly that the new status of the See of Constantinople could, in the future, endanger the rightful claims of Rome.

It is most unfortunate that the Eastern Fathers who had put together Canon Twenty-eight showed a lack of comprehension of the anxiety of Rome. The East was still greatly influenced by the principle of adaptation to the new political situation, and could not see beyond its immediate horizon. When we examine the Acts of the Councils of Ephesus and of Chalcedon and other documents of this period, we are surprised to notice that only in a few instances the Easterners mentioned the apostolic character of the main Sees, and when they did so, it was without emphasis.18 Had they respected the apostolic and Petrine character of Rome in the drawing up of the contested Canon, the Pope would have probably been induced to accept it.

On the other hand, Pope Leo, in his anxiety to preserve the privileges of his See, seems to have overlooked the fact that the Easterners still looked upon Rome as the Imperial city, as is evident from declarations made by some of the Bishops at Chalcedon. To them, the fact that Rome was the first capital and the foundation of the Empire was sufficient proof that the primacy in the Church belonged to her Bishops, and it would so remain as long as the Roman Empire, of which Constantinople was now the Imperial residence, endured.

The Pope's representative, Julian of Kios, was aware of this, and he advised the Pope to approve the decision of Chalcedon regarding the See of Constantinople. This could have been done in a document that stressed the apostolic character of the Roman See and her primacy because she had been founded by Peter whom the Lord had chosen to be the head of the Church. Such a declaration would most probably have been accepted by the Easterners, because they seem to have been aware of the mistake they had made in not mentioning the apostolic character of the Roman See. Perhaps, in order to give the Pope some satisfaction, they called Rome an Apostolic See in the letters in which they asked the Pope to confirm the Canon. Anatolius of Constantinople and the Pope came, at the end, to a kind of "compromise." Although Constantinople continued de facto to use the right accorded to her Bishops by the Council, Canon Twenty-eight was not included in the collection of Eastern Canon Law. It appeared only in the sixth century, in the Syntagma of Fourteen Titles.19

One thing is securely established, namely, that the Byzantine Church did not intend to question the primacy of Rome in the Church. In spite of what happened, Rome continued to be regarded as the superior of Constantinople and as the first See in the Church. The conflict can be explained by the clash of two principles in the organization of the Church—accommodation to the secular situation and the apostolic origin. The failure of the Chalcedonian Fathers to find a compromise between these two principles marks the beginning of a long struggle over the apostolicity, which became the source of new bitterness in the relations between East and West. It is symptomatic that Canon Twenty-eight was officially accepted in the West only at the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215, when the See of Constantinople was occupied by a Latin Patriarch, following the conquest of the city by the Latins.20 This, of course, did not contribute to a better understanding between the Orthodox and the Latins.

The friendly relations between Constantinople and Rome were seriously disrupted for the first time during the so-called Acacian Schism (484-519) when Pope Felix excommunicated Patriarch Acacius because he was sponsoring a compromise between the heretical monophysites and the Orthodox doctrine of Chalcedon, proposed by the Emperor Heraclius in his decree called Henoticon (482). During this rift, Pope Gelasius (492-496) went even further than Leo. He was the first to assert clearly the primacy of Rome and her jurisdiction over the entire Church. He not only repudiated Canon Twenty-eight, but he refused to count even Constantinople among the major Sees of Christendom. His language was too passionate for the Easterners, and Gelasius complained that in their letters, they spoke of him as proud, arrogant and stubborn. But, in spite of this, the Easterners were impressed by the Pope's emphasis on the apostolic character of his See, and by the deductions he made from the fact that he was the successor of St. Peter. In their correspondence with the Pope, the apostolicity of the Roman See was stressed more and more.

On the other hand, one can also see that, although willing to acknowledge the special position of Rome in the Church, they found some of the claims made by Gelasius strange and contrary to tradition. Their sharp criticism of Gelasius' attitude reveals their determination not to surrender the autonomous status of their Church, although compromised in the eyes of Rome as having supported an heretical creed.21

The reconciliation was made in the reign of Pope Hormisdas (514-23) when the Eastern Bishops signed the so-called Libellus Hormisdae which contained a clear definition of the Roman primacy in matters of faith. It is an important document recalling the promise of the Lord given to Peter (Matt.16:18 f.) and declaring that "in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept immaculate" and that in it "persists the total and true strength of the Christian religion."22 Some of the Eastern prelates may have signed the Libellus with mixed feelings, for never before had they read such a clear definition of Roman primacy, but even the Patriarch John signed it. They objected only to certain declarations of Gelasius which threatened the autonomous status of their Church. The Libellus dealt only with questions of dogma in which Rome had always proved to be a staunch defender of the Orthodox faith.

Interesting also in this respect is the declaration of John's successor Epiphanius in his letter to Pope Hormisdas: "It is my greatest desire to be united with you and to embrace the divine doctrines which have been entrusted to your holy See by the blessed and holy disciples and God's Apostles, especially by Peter, the head of the Apostles, and to esteem nothing more than them."23

At the same time the Patriarch and the Emperor Justinian, in referring in their letters to the four general Councils, had persuaded Pope Hormisdas to accept implicitly Canon Three of the Council of 381, which gave the See of Constantinople second rank in the hierarchy of the Church.

On the other hand, Justinian, when sanctioning in his Novel 131,224 the rank of the Patriarchs, expressed very clearly that the Bishop of Constantinople was inferior to the Bishop of Rome. This is important, and contradicts the statements of the mediaeval Greek controversialists who argued that because Rome was called the Old City, and Constantinople the New City, Rome outranked Constantinople only in age and in no other respect. This thesis was also rejected in the twelfth century by the famous Byzantine canonist Zonaras, who bases his rejection on the wording of Justinian's Novel 131.25

Another incident which occurred under Pope Pelagius (579-90) is generally interpreted as a denial by the Byzantines of the primacy of Rome. The Pope was scandalized when he learned that the Patriarch of Constantinople, John IV the Faster (582-95), was using the title of Oecumenical Patriarch. The Pope translated the word "oecumenical" by the word "universal" and asked the Patriarch to renounce a title which did not belong to him. The Patriarch did not abandon the use of this title and Pope Boniface III seems to have complained to the Emperor Phocas in 607 that "the Church of Constantinople declared itself to be the first of all the Churches."

The Emperor Phocas issued a degree stating that "the Apostolic See of the blessed Apostle Peter" should always be "the head of all Churches."26 This decree is a new confirmation of Justinian's Novel131. Boniface's complaint and Phocas' decree would appear to have been provoked by the use of the "oecumenical" title. This title, however, did not mean that the Patriarch using it pretended to have power over the whole Church. It had already been used by Bishop Dioscorus of Alexandria in 449, and by many other bishops, and was also given by the Greeks to Popes Leo I, Hormisdas, and Agapetus. Justinian gave this same title to the five Patriarchs in order to express their supreme power within the borders of their own Patriarchates. Thus, the use of this title by the Patriarchs of Constantinople does not mean that they intended to usurp the power over the whole Church and to supersede Rome.

In the meantime, the passage of events had made the Byzantines increasingly aware of the growing importance which the idea of apostolicity had in their relationship with Rome. Many scholars have supposed that because of the impression which the display of the apostolic character of the Roman See had made during the Acacian Schism in Byzantium, the Greeks had invented the legend that their See was also founded by an Apostle, St. Andrew, the brother of Peter. Because St. Andrew was the first to be invited by the Lord to join Him, and because he had introduced his brother Peter to the Master, he, Andrew, should be regarded as the first of the Apostles, and his successors in Byzantium at least equal, if not superior, to the successors of Peter in Rome.

If this could be verified, it would amount to a clear negation of Roman primacy in the Church by the Byzantines. I have examined this story thoroughly in my book The Idea of Apostolicity in Byzantium and the Legend of the Apostle Andrew27 and came to the conclusion that there is no trace of it in Byzantine or Western tradition before the end of the seventh or the beginning of the eighth centuries. During this time the Byzantines were still clinging to the old principle of accommodation to the political situation, and the fact that their city was the Imperial residence was regarded as sufficient to assure it a privileged position in the Church.

However, they were impressed by the idea that a See which was to play such a prominent role should be connected with the Apostles, the universal teachers, whose doctrine the Patriarchs should explain and promote. In reality, we find some instances in the seventh century in which the See of Constantinople is called "apostolic." It is reasonable to see in this the influence of the Roman emphasis on the apostolic character of the Church in general and the Roman See in particular. It should be stressed, however, that this custom was not originated by the story of the Apostle Andrew as founder of its bishopric, because the Andrew story was then not yet known in Byzantium.

Early Syriac, Armenian and Coptic traditions show, however, that the apostolic character was attributed to the See of Constantinople because this See was the heir of Ephesus, and, thus, of the Apostle John, when the jurisdiction which the See of St. John had exercised over Asia Minor was transferred to Constantinople.28 This is also confirmed by the declaration of the Patriarch Ignatius at a synod in 861,29 and seems also to be alluded to by the Patriarch Photius in his letter to the Armenians.

Anyhow, the attribution of an apostolic character to the See of Constantinople reveals that the Byzantines were making some interesting progress towards the Roman conception of leading principles in Church organization. This progress was accelerated by the controversy over the image worship. The iconoclastic Emperors were stressing the priestly character of the imperium. Because of this they were inclined to exalt the position of the Emperors in religious matters, at the expense of the "sacerdotium," particularly since the Patriarchs of the truly apostolic Sees did not favor the iconoclastic doctrine. It is the last glaring instance of the intervention of Emperors over religious, nay, doctrinal matters. It was a radical application of the old Hellenistic political philosophy according to which the Emperors, not the Patriarchs, were the representatives of God on earth, and, thus, had not only the right, but also the duty to watch over the purity of the faith and care for the true worship. The early Church had accepted the basic principles of this political conception, the only one which was known, but defended always the thesis that the definition of the Christian teaching was the privilege not of the "imperium" but of the "sacerdotium."

And so it came about that the apostolic idea became a weapon for the defenders of the image cult against the intervention of the Emperors in the doctrinal field. The Pope was exalted by the defenders of image worship as the heir of Peter, the head of the Apostles, and the repository of pure doctrine. The Iconoclastic Council of 754 was condemned by Stephen the Younger in 760, for example, because the Acts had not been approved by the Pope.30

More outspoken were St. Theodore the Studite (759-826) and his followers. Theodore called the Pope simply "apostolicus," using the title given to the Popes in the West, and which he had probably learned from his correspondence with the monks of the Greek monasteries in Rome.31 He recognized the Emperor's right to convoke a Council as it had been practiced so far, but in several councils he insisted on the preeminent position of the Pope. If the convocation of a Council was not desired by the Emperor, he recommended that the case be submitted to the Roman Bishop for a decision. However, he extended the apostolic character to all Patriarchs, even that of Constantinople, because they were the successors of the Apostles. "This is the patriarchic authority of the Church; these have jurisprudence over divine dogmas," exclaimed Theodore. Of course, among these five Patriarchs, Theodore always gave the first place to the Bishop of Rome.32

This is another milestone in the recognition of Roman primacy in Byzantium. In spite of this, however, the official Byzantine Church still clung to her traditional concepts. This is illustrated particularly by the Acts of the Seventh Oecumenical Council. Pope Hadrian (772-95) sent a letter to the Empress Irene and her son Constantine which was read during the Synod. It is very significant that many passages which clearly express the primacy of the Roman See have been omitted in the Greek version read at the Synod. The Pope's quotation of Our Lord's words to St. Peter (Matt. 16:18 f.) are passed over. Only one short allusion to these words is left but the name of Paul is added to the name of Peter, whenever the Pope mentioned the foundation of the Roman See by Peter. The protest of the Pope against the use of the title: "Oecumenical Patriarch" by the Bishop of Constantinople was also suppressed in the Greek version, and the Pope's criticism of Tarasius' elevation to patriarchal dignity, although he was a layman, was likewise left out. Similar changes were made by the Greeks in the letter sent by the Pope to Patriarch Tarasius.33

Of course, the primacy of the Pope in the Church is not only not denied, but is actually very clearly expressed. All this shows, however, that the Byzantines, although willing to recognize and accept the Roman primacy fundamentally, were anxious to preserve the autonomous status of the Church and were not willing to allow the Popes to interfere directly with their customs and usages. This is important and must be borne in mind whenever we examine the attitude of the Byzantines towards Rome. On the whole, however, we have to admit that in the eighth century further progress was made by the Byzantine mentality towards a better understanding of the question of the Roman primacy.

Many Catholic scholars think that the idea of the Five Patriarchs governing the Church was invented by the Byzantines in order to weaken or to negate the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, because it suggests the idea that all Patriarchs are equal in dignity. However, this is not so. The documents which formed the basis for the growth of the pentarchic idea—the Acts of the Sixth Oecumenical Council, Justinian's Novels, the writings of Maximus the Confessor of the seventh century, of Theodore the Studite of the eighth century, of other defenders of image worship, and the Acts of the Ignatian Synod of 869-70—by no means imply the equal dignity of all five Patriarchs. In many instances the special position of the Roman Patriarch is stressed. We have to consider this problem from the Byzantine point of view.34 The idea of five patriarchs expressed the universality of the Church which at that time could not be fully represented by the size of the Roman Empire, vast parts of which had been occupied by the Arabs. Furthermore, the idea that the direction of Church affairs, especially insofar as they concerned the definition and interpretation of Christ's doctrine, should be reserved to the incumbents of the principal Sees who, at the same time, represented the bishops of their respective patriarchates, expresses the rights of the "sacerdotium" as opposed to the interference of the "imperium." The Eastern Church had always fought for her rights against the intervention of the Emperors, and she was strongly supported in her fight by the West, as represented by the Patriarch of Rome. In the Byzantine view the pentarchy suggested also the idea of the infallibility of the Church in matters of doctrine, a truth which is firmly believed by the Orthodox Church today.

The fact that the idea of the pentarchy took such firm root in Byzantium in the eighth and ninth centuries signifies that the Roman principle of leadership in the Church—the apostolic character of the Church and of her principal Sees as opposed to the principle of accommodation to political changes—had gained considerable ground in Byzantium. With the iconoclastic heresy the traditional concept of the "imperium" was defeated in Byzantium and the Church affirmed most strongly her rights for which she had been fighting so vigorously. It meant also the definitive acceptance of the apostolic character of the See of Constantinople by the Easterners, and this time this supposition was strengthened by the spread of the legendary story of the apostolic foundation of the See of Byzantium. This story, based on the apocryphal Acts of St. Andrew in which Byzantium is mentioned, originated in the eighth century and became popular, largely as the result of new lives of St. Andrew written in the eighth and ninth centuries.

Even the Patriarch Ignatius refers to St. Andrew, as well as to St. John, as his predecessor. This indicates that the story of the apostolic foundation of the Byzantine See by Andrew was already accepted in many circles. In spite of this it was not yet officially accepted in the Church. The Typicon of the Church of Hagia Sophia from the end of the ninth century, which is an official document, does not mention the story when recording the feast of St. Andrew, and neither does it list the feast of St. Stachys, the legendary first Bishop of Byzantium, ordained by the Apostle Andrew.35 In Byzantium and in the East this story was generally accepted only in the tenth century.

It is believed that this story was used by the Patriarch Photius in a treatise denying the primacy of Rome and exalting the high position of the Byzantine See because it was founded by the brother of Peter, who had been the first of the Apostles chosen by the Lord. The fact that this story was not listed officially in the Typicon of the Patriarchal church, although this Typicon was re-edited by Photius, should be sufficient to show that Photius could not have written such a pamphlet. Only in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries could such an attack on the Roman primacy have been written on the basis of the legendary story of Andrew.

Photius is regarded both by Catholics and Orthodox as a staunch defier of the Roman primacy. This judgment needs radical correction as the result of recent studies. First of all it should be remembered that for the first time in Byzantine history Bishops who later became supporters of Photius had appealed against the judgment of Patriarch Ignatius, which they regarded as unjustified, to the first Patriarch, the Bishop of Rome. There were, of course, other Byzantine Patriarchs who had turned to Rome when unjustly condemned, such as St. Chrysostom and St. Flavian, but in their cases doctrinal questions were involved. The appellations of Gregory Asbestas and of his supporters were made, however, in purely disciplinary matters. Documentary evidence shows that Rome had begun to act as the supreme judge in this disciplinary affair, and that the Byzantine prelates took advantage of a decision of the Synod of Sardica (343) which had acknowledged the supreme position of Rome and had established the right of appeal to the Pope as representing the ultimate authority in the Church. The Canons of this local Synod of Western prelates had not been accepted, so far, in the East. This is the first time in which the Canon was invoked by the Eastern Church.36

This is important, but there is much more. When, in 861, Ignatius who had resigned the patriarchal throne, but had been acclaimed as Patriarch by certain enemies of the new Patriarch, Photius, canonically elected, was judged by the Roman legates, the Byzantine prelates making declarations which amounted to an official acceptance of the famous Canon of the Synod of Sardica. First, let us stress the fact that the Byzantine Church, in consenting to the judgment of her Patriarch by the legates of the Pope, thus recognized Rome as the supreme tribunal of the Church in disciplinary matters. It does not matter if the legates were or were not authorized by Pope Nicholas I to pronounce judgment. The fact that the Byzantine Church allowed them to do so is in itself eloquent enough.

At the beginning of the Synod the legates repeatedly proclaimed that they were proceeding according to the Canons of Sardica, which declared the Pope to be the ultimate authority in the Church. What happened during the second meeting of the Synod is particularly important. The legates said: "Believe us, brethren, it is because the Fathers in the Council of Sardica decided that the Bishop of Rome has power to reopen the cause of any bishop that we desire, with the authority we have mentioned, to re-examine the case." The Bishop of Laodicea, Theodore, the speaker of the Byzantine Church, said: "Our Church rejoices at it and has no objection to it and is not offended by it ("et ecclesia nostra gaudet in hoc et nullam habet contradictionem aut tristitiam"). Subsequent events resulted in this Synod being rejected by the Pope and its Acts forgotten. They were rediscovered in 1870, but it is certainly time that Church historians and canonists paid more attention to these outstanding declarations.37

Furthermore, Photius is severely criticized by Catholic theologians for having altered the letters sent to him, to the Emperor Basil, and to the Byzantine Church by Pope John VIII, which were read at the Council of 879-80 convoked to clear his name. It is true that in the Greek version of the letters Photius omitted all that he considered misrepresented his case but, after explanations, the legates consented to the changes because the Patriarchal Chancellory retained in the Greek version some passages from the Latin original which very clearly expressed the Pope's ideas on the Roman primacy. Photius' versions contain also the quotation of the famous passage of Matt. 16:19 on which the Pope based "the power to bind and loose, and in the words of Jeremiah, to uproot and to plant." Furthermore, Photius did not add the name of Paul to that of Peter when the Pope, in the original version, spoke of the founder of his See.38 This is proof that in the ninth century the Byzantines abandoned the old custom which was still in practice in the eighth century, as is clear from the Acts of the Seventh Oecumenical Council, and had accepted the Roman custom of attributing the foundation of the See of Rome to Peter alone.

It is said also that Photius publicly denied the primacy and transferred it to Byzantium in 867 and convoked a Council which had condemned Pope Nicholas. Here, however, we have to distinguish between the person of the Pope and the papacy. The Council condemned Nicholas I for his neglect of the customs of the Byzantine Church and for his direct interference in an internal affair which the Patriarch and his Bishops regarded as unjustified. Evidently this was Photius' greatest mistake for which the West never forgave him. But this does not mean that he denied the Roman primacy. The same Synod acclaimed the German Emperor Louis II as "basileus" and addressed a letter to him in which he was asked to depose Pope Nicholas. When examined from the Byzantine point of view this incident becomes very important. It shows that in Byzantium there was still hope of unifying the Roman Empire, with an Emperor in Constantinople and a co-Emperor in the West. Rome was the cradle of the Roman Empire and the Byzantines called themselves not Greeks, but Romans. As long as they called themselves Romans and as long as they regarded Rome as the cradle of their Empire and its first capital, they could not deny to Rome the first place which its Bishops claimed. The fact that they desired to win over the Emperor of the West to the cause of unity makes it clear that they did not wish to degrade the See of Rome and her Bishop to an inferior status.39

When we consider the events in Byzantium during the ninth century in this new light, we must confess that contrary to what had been so far believed, we can trace in these events and in the documents of this period further progress towards a better understanding of the Roman primacy. For the first time the right of appeal to the Bishop of Rome against the judgment of a Patriarch was de facto and synodically accepted. Other concessions granted to Rome at the Synod of 861 are important and fully testify to the primacy of this See. On the other hand, however, the Church of Constantinople very forcibly defended her administrative autocracy and her own customs and insisted that, at the Synod of 879-80, a canon be voted which confirmed to each Church her own usages.

This was a good foundation on which to develop relations between the two Churches. The history of the tetragamy conflict provoked by the fourth marriage of Leo VI shows that the right of appeal to the Roman See in disciplinary matters was still recognized in Byzantium in the tenth century. Actually, the Emperor's appeal to Rome, when Patriarch Nicholas Mysticus refused to allow his marriage, must be interpreted in this light, although it was ignored by the Patriarch and his followers. The request of Emperor Romanus I Lecapenus for confirmation from Rome of the election of his young son Theophylactus to patriarchal dignity was a feeble reflection of a principle which had been more readily recognized by the Byzantines in the ninth century.

We can stop our investigations at the beginning of the eleventh century. The further development of the relations between East and West were overshadowed by political events. The restoration of the Western Roman Empire by the Saxon Kings, who appointed their own Popes, increased the mistrust. And the development of the mediaeval theory of the superiority of the spiritual over temporal power, put into practice by Gregory VII and his reformers, alienated the Byzantines even further, although the excommunication of Patriarch Michael Cerularius by the Papal legates in 1054 did not as yet mean a definite rupture.40 This rupture widened during the Crusades and became definite after 1204 when Constantinople was seized by the Latins. Then it was that hostility against the claims of the Roman primacy were manifested in numerous instances and in political writings. It is useless to reexamine them. They were dictated by passion provoked by injustices inflicted by the Latins on the Greeks during the Crusades and the replies of the Latins were written often in the haughty spirit of beati possidentes.

If we wish to find a basis on which to build anew a rapprochement between Rome and the Orthodox Church, a rapprochement which will lead to union, we must look for this in the first ten centuries, during which period both Churches were still at one. In spite of misunderstandings, many of which have been often exaggerated, we will find this basis, if we are sincere, and both are willing to look for it and to accept it.

Francis Dvornik 

 

ENDNOTES

1 The most extensive study on the organization of the primitive Church is still that published by K. Lubeck, Reichseinteilung und kirchliche Hierarchie des Orients bis znm Ausgange des vierten Jahrhunderts (The political division of the Empire and the Church Hierarchy to the end of the fourth century), published in Munster i. W. in 1901. For more bibliographical indications, see my book The Idea of Apostolicity in Byzantium and the Legend of the Apostle Andrew, (Dumbarton Oaks Studies 4, Washington, D. C„ 1958), pp. 1-38.

2 The best documentary evidence for this development is found in the letters of St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, especially letters 4, 17, 56, 59, 64, 67, 70, 72, ed. G. Hartel in Corpus Script. Eccles. Latin.,vol. 3, part 2, pp. 472, 523, 649, 678, 717, 735, 766, 775. See my study, "Emperors, Popes and General Councils," Dumbarton Oaks Papers, vol. 6, pp. 3 ff. Cf. also my book The Ecumenical Councils (The Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Catholicism, vol. 82, New York, 1961), pp. 9 ff.

3 Cf. F. Lanzoni, "Le diocesi d'ltalia dalle origini al principo del secolo VII," in Studi e Testi, vol. 35 (1927), pp. 1016 ff.

4 Irenaeus, Contra Haereses, bk. 3, chap. 3, para. 3, Migne, Patres Graeci, vol. 7, cols. 849 ff.

5 Cf. B. H. Streeter, The Primitive Church (London, 1929), pp. 188-195; E. Milland, "Le developpement de l'idee de succession apostolique," in Revue d'his. et de philos. relig., vol. 34 (1954), pp. 20 ff.

6 De Pudicitia, chap. 21, Corp. Script. Eccles. Latin, vol. 20, p. 270.

7 Chronographus anni 354, ed. Th. Mommsen in Monum. Germaniae Histor. Auctores Antiq., vol. 9, p. 73.

8 See the documentary evidence in P. Batiffol's Cathedra Petri (Paris, 1938), pp. 151 ff.

9 On the rivalry between Constantinople and Alexandria, cf. N. H. Baynes, "Alexandria and Constantinople. A Study in Ecclesiastical Diplomacy," in his Byzantine Studies and Other Essays(London, 1955), pp. 97-115. Cf. also the concise history of the first Councils in my book. The Ecumenical Councils, pp. 17-31.

10 Mansi, Conciliorum ampliss. Collectio, vol. 6, col. 204, letter 106.

11 For details, see Das Konsil von Chalcedon, ed. A. Grillmeir, H. Bacht (Wurzburg, 1953), vol. 2, especially the excellent study by E. Herman, pp. 459-490 and T. O. Martin on the twenty-eighth Canon, ibid., pp. 433-458.

12 See, for details and bibliography, my book The Idea of Apostolicity, pp. 52 ff.

13 Cf. F. X. Murphy, Peter Speaks through Leo. The Council of Chalcedon, (Washington, Cath. Univ. Press, 1952).

14 Mansi, op. cit.. vol. 7, col. 444. Cf. C. H. Turner, Ecclesiae occidentalis Monumenta Iuris Antiquissima(Oxford, 1899-1929), vol. 1, pp. 103, 121.

15 See their letters in Mansi, op. cit., vol. 6, cols. 146-156, 168 ff.; 171 ff.

18 Mansi, op. cit., vol. 7, cols. 361, 365.

17 The Pope's letters to the Emperor and the Patriarch Anatolius in Mansi, op. cit., vol. 6, cols. 196 ff.; 204 ff.

18 See, for documentary evidence, my book The Idea of Apostolicity, pp. 39 ff.

19 Published by V. N, Benesevic, Kanoniceskij Sbornik XIV titulov (St. Petersburg, 1903), p. 155. It was also approved by the Council in Trullo (692), Mansi, op. cit., vol. ii, col. 960.

20 Canon Five of the Council, Mansi, op. cit., vol. 22, cols. 290, 291. However, already the Fathers of the Ignatian Council (869-870) when formulating Canon Twenty-one gave precedence to the Patriarch of Constantinople before Eastern Patriarchs. Pope Hadrian II did not protest against this canon (Mansi, vol. 16, col. 174). The canon is preserved only in the Latin translation of the Acts made by Anastasius Bibliothecarius.

21 The main documents concerning the Acacian Schism are published by E. Schwartz, "Publizistische Sammlungen zum Acacianischen Schisma" in the Abhandlungen of the Bavarian Academy, Phil-hist. Class 1934, pp. 161- 262. The papal letters in Migne, Patrol. Lat., vol. 58, 59, new critical edition in the so-called Collectio Avellana, in Collectio Script. Eccl. Latin., vol. 35, ed. by O. Gunther. See, for details and bibliography, my book The Idea of Apostolicity, pp. 106-137.

22 Migne, Patr. Lat., vol. 63, col. 393 ff., Collectio Avellana, pp. 520 ff.

23 Migne, op. cit., cols. 494 ff., Collectio Avellana, pp. 652-654.

24 Corpus Iuris Civilis, Novellae, vol. 3, ed. R. Schoell, W. Kroll, p. 655.

25 Migne, Patres Graeci, vol. 137, cols. 321C, 325, 485-489.

26 Liber Pontificalis, ed. L. Duchesne, vol. 1, p. 316: "Hic optinuit apud Focatem principem ut sedis apostolica beati Petri apostoli caput esset omnium ecclesiarum, quia ecclesia Constantinopolitana prima se omnium ecclesiarum scribebat."

27 Pp. 138-299.

28 F. Dvornik, The Idea of Apostolicity, pp. 238 ff.

29 In the Acts of the Synod of 861 which condemned Ignatius, the latter declared: "I am also in possession of the throne of the Apostle John and of Andrew who was the first to be called Apostle," Wolf von Glanvell, Die Kanonessammlung des Kardinals Deusdedit (Paderborn, 1905), p. 603.

30 Vita S. Stephani Junioris, Migne, Patres Graeci, vol. 100, col. 1144. He mentions also the other patriarchs, but when speaking of the Pope, he adds: "according to the canonical prescriptions religious affairs cannot be defined without the Roman Pope."

31 On the origin and use of this title and on Greek monasteries in Rome, see my book Les Legendes de Constantin et de Methode vues de Byzance (Prague, 1933), pp. 295-300, 286-290.

32 Letter 129, Migne, Patres Graeci, vol. 99, cols. 1417, 1420.

33 See the Acts of the Council in Mansi, op. cit.. vol. XII, cols. 1056 ff. (Second session of the Council.)

34 See, for details, my book The Idea of Apostolicity, pp. 163, 168, 235 ff, 275 ff.

35 This important document was published by A. Dmitrijevskij in his Opisanie liturg. rukopisej(Description of liturgical manuscripts), vol. I, Typika (Kiev, 1895), p. 27.

36 See, for details and documentary evidence, my book The Photian Schism, pp. 16 ff.

37 An extract from the Acts was preserved in the eleventh century canonical collection of Cardinal Deusdedit. Critical edition by Wolf von Glanvell, op. cit., pp. 603-10. Deusdedit's collection contains also a summary of the Photian Council of 879-80, ibid., pp. 612 ff.

38 Cf. the new critical edition of the letters in Monumenta Germaniae historica, Epistolae, vol. 7, pp. 166 ff. Mansi, op. cit., vol. 7, cols. 396 ff.

39 Cf. my latest studies on Photius: The Patriarch Photius in the Light of Recent Research (Munich, 1958), pp. 30 ff. and "Patriarch Photius, Scholar and Statesman," Classical Folia, vol. 14 (1960), pp. 19 ff.

40 See the unbiased study by S. Runciman, The Eastern Schism (Oxford, 1955), pp. 28-54. 

 

https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=1355

 

 

 

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On 16.7.2019. at 13:47, Bernard рече

7th Century Africa - Roman Primacy

Brate, ovo uopste ne dokazuje papski primat, jednostavno morao je 6.Vaselj. sabor da se odrzi kako bi se konacno i zajednicki i saborno, gde su bili prisutni i Istok i Zapad (delegati pape), donela odluka o osudi jeresi monotelita.

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пре 6 часа, Bernard рече

Byzantium and the Roman Primacy

by Francis Dvornik

I, ovaj tekst, mislim, svaka cast svakome, ali ja kao laik hriscanin kada sam toliko nelogicnih i istorijsko crkvenih pogresaka video u ovom tekstu... onda stvarno dosla poslednja vremena... :D ... mislim, ono jedan primer, reci da je ... It would, therefore, be illogical to suppose that the Fathers intended to deny the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, a primacy which had just made itself particularly apparent in the triumph of orthodoxy at Chalcedon.... jeste blago da kazem pomalo preteciozno jer nije primat doprineo pobedi prave vere na Saboru, nego poslanica vere sv.pape Lav I i sv.Kirila Aleksandrijskog bogoslovlje i saborno prihvatanje takve vere i definisanje orosa Halkidonskog sabora... itd...

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problemos je sto je to aktivno korisceno za utvrdjivanje papske vlasti u crkvi, narocito na Zapadu,... na Iskoku se lagano :D izborio sv.Fotije Veliki, ....salim se de' lagano :blush: .... kao i Pseudo Isidorove dekretalije,.... sad se zna da su sve to falsifikati ali onda su nazalost imali veliki uticaj....

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Patriarchate vs Papal Primacy – Fr. Joseph Ratzinger

                                                                                ratzinger  

Something which I have observed constitutes a cause for confusion in the dialogue between East and West is the notion of Patriarch. The Eastern Orthodox are wont to be thinking of the primacy of the Roman see by the concept of this term. But this isn’t how Catholics see it, and it would serve the purpose of both our communions if we were to clarify the root and origin of that authority that we call Papal, and explain how it differs from Patriarch. Though, by this, I do not intend a force being applied to the Eastern side which would compel agreement. Having said that, this clarification aids in shining more light on what the Catholic position is, given her dogmatic teaching laid down at the councils of Lyons, Florence, and both councils of the Vatican.

Now, the fact that we have interpreters who descend from the Greco-Byzantine patrimony who think Patriarch when considering the primacy of Rome is not difficult to believe in light of the fact that the Christian church under and with the Byzantine Empire had accommodated much of its external structuring to suit the geographic and Ecclesio-political operations. Moreover, the 6th canon of one of our shared Concils, Nicaea AD 325, seems to indicate that the Roman bishopric had a sort of quasi-Patriarchal (whose full form sees flowering more than a few centuries after the founding of the church), but more akin to Metropolitical, oversight of a wider region of churches. Some have argued that this canon bears no hint in this direction. But even if it did, it would only be a referent to the growing mode of Metropolia for the church of Rome, which encompassed churches close to the Italian territories. This had already been called “ancient custom” by the early 4th century. Since the churches of Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem, and then Rome, held certain greater than average prominence, it was appropriate for administrative centralization to occur, bringing together many nearby churches, which were most likely daughter churches from the Mother-church.  This basic application is serves to reflect the practical rationale, and would  do the same for the upcoming 3rd canon of the Council of Constantinople held in 381 , as well as that of the 28th canon of Chalcedon held in 451. Now, Rome had never ratified these canons, and even when there is a final concession to  the inevitable Constantinopolitan primacy, it was not accepted on the logic of those two canons. In fact, n the year 381, no one could say that it is on the basis of “ancient custom” that Constantinople should rise in primacy. Rather, it proffered by the Byzantines that since her city was the new home of the Empire’s capital, it was due for elevation.  Further, it was said that since Rome had received her primacy from the same princinple, it would only naturally follow that Constantinople is now Rome, though new. The Pope of Rome at the time, St. Leo I, had disallowed the canonization of that attempt, and emphasized the irreformability of the Nicaean canon which put the order at Alexandria first,  then Antioch, and after that, Jerusalem.

It helps to emphasize now that this level of primacy, that of Metropolitical, and which would turn into Patriarchs for the 5 greater Sees, is a creature of the Church. It was the “ancient custom” of the Fathers. This may or may not include a custom laid down by the Apostles, but I’m unaware of any positive or negative evidence. These Metropolitical centers only grew in light of circumstance, and not divine law. Secondly, they originated on the basis of a strategy to better manage the unity of nearby churches. The prerogatives were recognized by the Church, and originated by her.

On the other hand, Rome’s primacy was never stated to have been based off some conciliar or episcopal decision, but was rather something to have begun with the investiture of Jesus Christ in the Apostle Peter. Rome inherited the throne of Peter, and thus she receives, like a depository, his primatial authority for the universal Church. This is not extensive with Italy, or the West, but is universal. This was even held by the Eastern churches at Chalcedon. Their letter to Pope Leo represents the Eastern consensus just as much as the Council does. The novelty was, quite probably, the logic of the 3rd canon of Constantinople I and the 28th of Chalcedon. It is even more of a cause to wonder how the Easterners could say the things which they did about Leo in their epistle, and at the same time conceive of Rome’s primacy as entirely built off her being home of the elder Imperial capital. Some have argued that the Eastern bishops intended by  “fathers” in “the fathers gave Rome her primacy” (canon 28) on the basis of her being the home of the Imperial capital as the Apostles themselves. It seems like a fair explanation, though it leaves one still wondering.

Anyhow, I think it serves both sides best to realize that the Papal primacy is actually one and the same thing with Petrine primacy, and the latter was created by Christ in the Apostles, and was universal in scope. This is not just a matter of a distinction in the area of jurisdiction, but a whole different category of primacy than was conceived for Alexandria and the rest of the Patriarchs, especially Constantinople.

As a wrap, I give you hear the words of the younger Fr Joseph Ratzinger, who wrote an interesting article (now published in book form)  and which speaks directly to the inner logic of what I’ve tried to show:

“It is clear that the duality, set up by the earliest theology of succession with its emphasis on apostolic sees, has nothing to do with the later patriarchal theory. Confusion between the primitive claim of the apostolic see and the administrative claim of the patriarchal city characterizes the tragic beginning of conflict between Constantinople and Rome. The theory of patriarchal constitution, which especially since the council of Chalcedon, has been held up against the Roman claim and which has tried to force the latter into its own mould, mistakes the whole character of the Roman claim, which is based on an entirely different principle. The patriarchal principle is post-Constantinian, its instinct administrative, its application thus closely tied up with political and geographic data. The Roman claim, by contrast, must be understood in the light of the originally theological notion of the apostolic sees. The more new Rome (which could not dream of calling itself ‘apostolic’) obscured the old idea of the apostolic see in favor of the patriarchal concept, the more; the more Old Rome emphasized the completely different origin and nature of its authority. Indeed, this is something entirely different from a primacy of honor among patriarchs, since it exists on quite a different plane, wholly independent of such administrative schemes. The overshadowing of the old theological notion of the apostolic see – an original part, after all, of the Church’s understanding of her own nature – by the theory of five patriarchs must be understood as the real harm done in the quarrel between East and West. The mischief has had its effect on the West to the extent that, though the notion of apostolic authority has remained unharmed, nevertheless a far-reaching administrative-patriarchal conception of the importance of the Roman see has necessarily developed, making it no easier for those outside the fold to grasp the real hart of the Roman claim in contrast to other claims”
 (Fr Joseph Ratzinger, Primacy, Episcopate, and Apostolic Successionin The Episcopate and the Primacy , pg. 58-59)

https://erickybarra.org/2017/03/25/the-emergence-of-patriarch-vs-the-romman-see/

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    • Од Bernard,
      The Following is a response to an Orthodox interlocutor. He had read my blogpost entitled “Papal Office is internal to the Episcopate , Some Notes On The Mutual Dependency of Bishops to the Pope, Citations from the Church Fathers“, and offered some objections. His real name will go unmentioned. He will be referred to as Max. His comments are in the large bold  lettering, my answers are in the small text.
      WHERE IS EVIDENCE OF THIS AT THE FALSE REUNIFICATION COUNCILS OF LYONS (1274) AND FLORENCE (1439) WHICH WERE REJECTED BY THE EASTERN CHURCHES ONLY HAD THE SUPPORT OF THE BISHOP OF ROME WITHIN HIS OWN (WESTERN) PATRIARCHATE?
      The author of this statement has overridden the natural constitution of the Church’s government in preference of Patriarchal governance. It is fact that Patriarchal governance was not instituted by Jesus Christ, nor the Apostles, nor the early bishops for several centuries. What did Christ establish? He established the 12 Apostles who formed both an administrative college and missionary society. What did Christ establish through the Apostles? He established the successors to the Apostles, bishops, which is formed, like the Apostles, in a governing college and commissioned society. Within this College, there is a distinction between Head and members, Pope and bishops. Later metropolia and patriarchal organization were Church-created organizations for the better managing of the churches. The latter cannot be used to size up any into one grouping. There are churches with their bishops. The church of Rome has the successor of Peter. Thus, the church of Rome as the central head of the worldwide episcopate and the bishops/churches surrounding him in one compact visible administrative unity. Thus, when Max here makes a measurement of the universal church in Patriarchal divisions, leaving the bishops and Pope who agreed with the decrees of Lyons and Florence, he is disregarding fundamental and divine institutions and even mistakes them for the Patriarchal boundaries.
      One more thing – I wonder where Max gets the idea that the Patriarchate of Rome was automatically everything Western. At the council of Nicaea, canon 6 alluded to the comparable quasi-Patriarchal rights over Italia suburbicaria, which didn’t quite encompass Gaul, Spain, England, what would become Frankish lands, Africa, etc,etc. So what is it between the Council of Nicaea and the big Councils such as Ephesus 431 and Chalcedon 451 that automatically makes all these Western sees part of the Roman Patriarchate? Sure Rome was a missionary mother to these churches, but that doesn’t entail what has been assumed. The original mother was the city church of Jerusalem, and yet the world is not one big Jerusalem Patriarchate.
      Many more questions could be brought up
       
       ERICK YBARRA WRITES: “BUT, WE CAN ASK, CAN THE POPE GO AGAINST THE ENTIRE EPISCOPATE?”
      —> THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED WHEN ROME WENT INTO SCHISM AND BROKE AWAY FROM THE ANCIENT PATRIARCHATES OF JERUSALEM, ANTIOCH, ALEXANDRIA, CONSTANTINOPLE AND PRETTY MUCH EVERY ECCLESIASTICAL COMMUNITY MENTIONED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT!
      Again, another Patriarchal sizing of the divine ekklesia, and coming to the wrong conclusion thereby.  Also, this added part “pretty much every ecclesiastical community mentioned in the New Testament!”, only has enough power to turn around and hit as a target the original shooter. During the 4th century, many Eastern churches went into an Arian disarray and corrupted the pure doctrine of Jesus Christ. Many of these churches were part of the grouping that Max provides. Does this have any significance? Enough to turn his argument into a poor inconsistency?  I think so. But it only gets worse. The condemnation of St. John Chrysostom, eventually shared by the “Patriarchates” of Cple, Alex, and Antioch. Were these churches of the Ecclesiastical new testament community ? If so, what entailments follow? And, if Max’s purported import were proven true, wouldn’t it backfire? But then, it was, in fact, only the Roman See, which had alone taken initiative with Emperor Honorius/Arcadius to hold a synod to examine the case of Chrysostom, and the western sees which had retained Chrysostom’s name in the diptych of the mysteries. I wonder, just what significance Max would glean from a situation where the Eastern patriarchs broke away from one of the foremost heroes of Eastern Orthodoxy, the golden tongue himself? But then, when, once again, the three major “Patriarchal Sees” went into heretical monophysiticism, and the Roman See (together with the Western sees & some Eastern believers underground, including monks) was alone continually standing firm on Chalcedon, does he see any effectual significance of Rome standing alone again, atop of the heretical world as the “pure home of orthodox dogma” (As St. Sophronius of Jerusalem would call her) ? But God forbid the Roman See would ever break “from the ancient Patriarchates of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople and pretty much every Ecclesiastical community mentioned in the New Testament”.
      ERICK YBARRA WRITES: “CHRIST ALWAYS SUSTAINS A REMNANT, IF NOT ALL, IN THE DIVINE VOCATION OF THE EPISCOPATE THAT WILL ALWAYS BE ON THE RIGHT-BELIEVING SIDE OF THINGS. THUS, BY WAY OF ACCIDENT [FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE], AND NOT BY ABSOLUTE NECESSITY, THE POPE WILL NEVER BE ALONE IN HIS OWN PAPAL MAGISTERIUM FOR THIS REASON.”
      —-> ERICK SEEMS TO FORGET THAT BOTH POPE HONORIUS AND POPE VIGILIUS WERE CONDEMNED BY ECUMENICAL COUNCILS FOR HERESY!
      It seems that when Max can find a reason to undermine Papal claims, he is willing to even do so when it means doing so in the most abnormal and extra-contextual manner possible. But then, when it suits Orthodoxy, he can expect his interlocutors to understand extenuating circumstances (see his comments above on Lyons/Florence) Pope Honorius I likely didn’t even teach monotheletism. But even if he did, where was he to confirm himself in the error? He was in the grave, and his soul hopefully in heaven or purgatory if not. Be that as it may,  the Council felt free to condemn Honorius as well as many other deceased persons. Doesn’t this mean that the Council has a higher authority than the Pope? I’m sure many thought this. After all, didn’t many think Councils weren’t even more authoritative than the pontifications of their favorite theologians (see the Nestorians/Coptic churches) ?? Anyhow, Catholics have always had a response to this situation. Firstly, the promise of infallibility, which Pope St. Agatho readily asserts for the Roman See in his letter to the Eastern Council, only pertains to a specific mode of teaching. And it isn’t as mechanical as some would like to envision it. It is a mode from where the Pope speaks as the supreme pastor of the church, making a solemn judgement concerning faith &/or morals with the fullness of his God-given authority.  In fact, Pope Agatho explains that Pope Honorius did not appeal to Papal authority and the tradition of Rome when he wrote his letter to Sergius of Cple. One might have thought that it would be entirely anarchronistic to think of someone noting the distinction in modes of Papal teaching. But there it is in the 7th century, by no less than a Greek Pope. Pope Leo, who ratified the decrees , agrees to the condemnation of Honorius, even if it were only that he was negligent. A good case can be made, however, that the words of the condemnation are still much stronger than that. What does this prove? That a Council, working together with a valid Pope, examines and condemns a former Pope for heresy. There is room for that on my bus. In fact, many of us are praying this occurs under the present Pontificate, if in the case of formal heresy. Of course, prayers first go to the wellbeing of all, including the Pope himself.
      For Vigilius – How often do you read anti-Papalists go through the whole story of Vigilius? It is rare that I hear it mentioned that the whole Three chapters controversy was an attempt on the part of the Emperor to resolve the church’s theological disputes. This, right off the bat, should signal an abnormality which the Popes themselves had previously warned against (See Gelasius’ letters to the Emperor). This tendency began with the Emperor Constantine, and could obviously serve the Church very well. But it obviously does not serve the Church very well when the secular rulers circumvent the government of the Church and imposes upon the Church its own rules and mandates. Under the power of Justinian, we see this immediately with his 3 chapters plan. He sends an edict to the eastern patriarchs, requiring them to sign. These Eastern patriarchs, knowing that such matters are to be handled only by collaboration with the prelate of the Roman See, signed conditionally. That condition was whether Pope Vigilius, the head of the universal church, would sign. Justinian knew what he was doing, and he knew he would take any measure necessary to acquire the assent of Rome. We know this because when delegates from Justinian arrived in Rome and met with an unwilling Vigilius, they already knew what plan B was. Take Vigilius into custody. *Right there*, the Byzantine Ceasar was imposing himself upon the freedom of the Church to settle her own affairs. He had already done so with the Eastern patriarchs. From here on forward, all Papal actions are rendered suspicious , since the Pope is under duress. I’d only hope that Max would afford the same understanding he expects us to have when he explains the Greeks embraced Florence. But I only hope.
      When in Constantinople, Vigilius gives way to Justinian and assents. Then, when he realizes his actions afford him great controversy to many churches in the West, he retracts. But Justinian holds on to that. Then the 2nd edict of the three chapters is made by the Emperor, and the eastern patriarchs are made to sign. Vigilius excommunicates all the eastern patriarchs. The very same thing that Max would say was in the power of the Council against himself [Vigilius]. And yet, no one complains. Rather, they visit the Pope and make it clear that they submit to Chalcedon “for it was ratified by the Apostolic See”, insinuating the essential role of the Pope in the determination of doctrine for the universal church. Push comes to shove w/ the Emperor, a slight reconciliation is made, and plans for a council are agreed upon. However, Justinian didn’t comply with Vigilius, the head of the Church, in allowing the West to play a major role in the dispute. Its obvious, Justinian knew it was a waste of time since the West was not going to budge on Chalcedon, even if stupidly not realizing the Nestorianism in Theodore/Theodoret/Ibas. *Right there again* – The Emperor taking the driver position in the church bus. A big no no. But Vigilius has little to choose from, right? I mean, he is being held prisoner, let’s not forget. The Council convenes and Vigilius isn’t very cooperative, but then says he’ll give a statement on his view within a certain time. The Council doesn’t like the result, and they strike his name from the diptychs, and move on with the condemnation of the three chapters. Council is closed. Vigilius is left an outsider. Now, from here, Max believes his Eastern Orthodox position has gained him another leg in the debate with Catholicism. The problem here is that he has sacrificed the Church’s stance on what an Ecumenical Council *is* in order to obtain this idea that Constantinople 553 held jurisdiction over the Pope and the universal church. First of all, the West was absent. So, at the point in time that the Council closed, we aren’t talking about a Universal Council, though Max would attribute it as such. Now, this is even more curious given that Max, unless I’m mistaken, holds to a similar view of Khamiokov on the gradual acceptance of a council as ecumenical, where the full achievement of ecumenical, supreme, and infallible authority is contingent upon the *whole church receiving it*. If that is the case, then I can’t imagine how Max would say that Justinian and the Eastern bishops comprised an ecumenical action against Vigilius which had the authority to do so. Just a few years after this event, Pope St. Gregory I would say ‘without the authority and the consent of the Apstolic See, none of the matters transacted have any binding force’. Now unfortunately, the removal of the Pope’s name from the diptych of the Eastern liturgies had already become a common thing in the East by then, so I’m sure it wasn’t too strange an idea, but what I’m having a difficult time getting is its validity. When Acacius of Cple removed Pope Felix from the diptychs, it is not as if committed Catholics have to then overturn their belief in the supremacy of the Pope. So this is my response. I will add that Cple 553 began abnormally and would thus end abnormally. Vigilius wrote in with repentance to the patriarch of cple saying he was wrong and that the council was right. I don’t know if he ratified the council then or not. His successor Pelagius I would take the task for sure, and he had quite a battle on his hands since the Western churches were not invited to the convocation, and plus, they saw it as a threat to conscience, i.e. their revoking of Chalcedon. A mess created a bigger mess. But what I hope to communicate here, in concluding, is that it is extremely revealing that Orthodox such as Max  would depend so heavily on the actions of Justinian and the eastern bishops against Vigilius, given the rare and abnormal circumstances.
      THE FOLLOWING CITATIONS ARE FROM A WORK BY THE FRENCH HISTORIAN CLAIRE SOTINEL. IN IT, THE AUTHOR DISCUSSES THE PERIMETERS OF CHURCH AUTHORITY DURING THE TIME OF JUSTINIAN AND SEEKS TO DEFINE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CHURCH AND IMPERIAL AUTHORITY IN THE PERIOD LEADING UP TO AND FOLLOWING THE FIFTH ECUMENICAL COUNCIL. WHEN DISCUSSING THE RELEVANCE OF VIGILIUS’ EXCOMMUNICATION TO HER TOPIC, SHE QUOTES JUSTINIAN’S LETTER IN WHICH VIGILIUS IS CLEARLY SINGLED OUT. REMEMBER THAT AT THIS STAGE, VIGILIUS HAD RETRACTED HIS CONDEMNATION OF THE THREE CHAPTERS:
      “THE MOST RELIGIOUS POPE OF OLD ROME [HAS MADE HIMSELF] A STRANGER TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN DEFENDING THE IMPIETY OF THE CHAPTERS AND, MOREOVER, IN SEPARATING HIMSELF FROM YOUR COMMUNION BY HIS OWN INITIATIVE […]. THUS, SINCE HE HAS MADE HIMSELF A STRANGER TO CHRISTIANS, WE HAVE JUDGED THAT HIS NAME WILL NOT BE RECITED IN THE HOLY DIPTYCHS LEST, BY THIS MEANS, WE FIND OURSELVES IN COMMUNION WITH THE IMPIETIES OF NESTORIUS AND THEODORE […]. ONE THING IS CERTAIN: WE SERVE UNITY WITH THE APOSTOLIC SEE, AND YOU MAINTAIN IT. VIGILIUS’ TRANSFORMATION, OR ANYONE ELSE’S, CANNOT, IN FACT, HARM THE PEACE OF THE CHURCHES”.
      TO WHICH THE COUNCIL RESPONDS:
      “THE PLANS OF THE MOST PIOUS EMPEROR ARE IN CONFORMITY WITH HIS ACTIONS UNDERTAKEN FOR THE UNITY OF THE HOLY CHURCHES. LET US THEREFORE SERVE UNITY WITH THE APOSTOLIC SEE OF THE ALL-HOLY CHURCH OF OLD ROME BY FULFILLING EVERYTHING ACCORDING TO THE TERMS OF THE IMPERIAL DECREE WHICH HAS JUST BEEN READ”
      The relation of ecclesial authority to Imperial authority, I believe, had been answered correctly by Pope Gelasius. Also see above comments.
       
      ERICK YBARRA WRITES:”DURING THE PONTIFICATE OF POPE SYMMACHUS, GREEKS APPEALED TO HIM ON BEHALF OF THE EASTERN CHRISTIANS WHO WERE SUFFERING FROM THE MONO-PHYSITE FALL OUT: “YOU WHO ARE TAUGHT DAILY BY YOUR SACRED TEACHER, PETER, TO FEED THE SHEEP OF CHRIST ENTRUSTED TO YOU THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE HABITABLE WORLD” (MANSI, 8.221)”
      —-> ERICK FORGETS TO MENTION THE SYMMACHEAN FORGERIES. SEE BELOW:
      THE SYMMACHEAN FORGERIES ARE A SHEAF OF FORGED DOCUMENTS PRODUCED IN THE PAPAL CURIA OF POPE SYMMACHUS (498—514) IN THE BEGINNING OF THE SIXTH CENTURY, IN THE SAME CYCLE THAT PRODUCED THE LIBER PONTIFICALIS.
      IN THE CONTEXT OF THE CONFLICT BETWEEN PARTISANS OF SYMMACHUS AND ANTIPOPE LAURENTIUS THE PURPOSE OF THESE LIBELLI WAS TO FURTHER PAPAL PRETENSIONS OF THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE BISHOPS OF ROME FROM CRITICISMS AND JUDGMENT OF ANY ECCLESIASTICAL TRIBUNAL, PUTTING THEM ABOVE LAW CLERICAL AND SECULAR BY SUPPLYING SPURIOUS DOCUMENTS SUPPOSEDLY OF AN EARLIER AGE.
      “DURING THE DISPUTE BETWEEN POPE ST. SYMMACHUS AND THE ANTI-POPE LAURENTIUS,” THE CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA REPORTS, “THE ADHERENTS OF SYMMACHUS DREW UP FOUR APOCRYPHAL WRITINGS CALLED THE ‘SYMMACHIAN FORGERIES’. …
      THE OBJECT OF THESE FORGERIES WAS TO PRODUCE ALLEGED INSTANCES FROM EARLIER TIMES TO SUPPORT THE WHOLE PROCEDURE OF THE ADHERENTS OF SYMMACHUS, AND, IN PARTICULAR, THE POSITION THAT THE ROMAN BISHOP COULD NOT BE JUDGED BY ANY COURT COMPOSED OF OTHER BISHOPS.” – CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA XIV, 378.
       
      This is an extremely uninformed response. First, what does the letter from the Greeks appealing to the Pope have to do with the Symmachean forgeries? Absolutely nothing. I am shocked that this was his response. Allow me to give you the context here. Macedonius (495) was elected in the place of Euphemius of Constantinople, and he was confronted with a demand from the Emperor Anastasius I to issue an official repudiation of the Council of Chalcedon. He responded that without the consent of the Roman see, no repudiation was possible from him. (Caspar, op. cit., vol ii, p. 121). He was immediately deposed. One year later (512) Constantinople, Alexandria, and Antioch were in the hands of Monophysitism. From these states of affairs, we have a letter from some Greeks in the East who were victims of Caesaropapistic tyranny during this Acacian schism. Dr. Trevor Jalland describes this letter: “Reminding the Pope that he enjoys the power to loose as well as to bind his [Greek] petitioners please: ‘Of a truth you are possessed of the Spirit of Christ, who are daily instructed by your holy teacher Peter how to tend the flock of Christ, which has been entrusted to you over all the earth and obys you not by constraint but willingly…All of us, both those in communion with them (sc. Monophysites) and those who decline it, await next to God the light of your visitation and admission to favour. Wherefore hasten to help the East, whence the redeemer Himself sent forth two great luminaries Peter and Paul to give light to the whole world’. What answer, if any, Symmachus returned to this pathetic appeal is unknown. All that remains of his eastern correspondence is a letter to the Illyrian episcopate urging them to take warning from the fate of the eastern churches: ‘For those, who believed they could disregard the admonition of the Apostolic See, have deservedly suffered what is bound to befall those who forsake their duty’” (Church and Papacy, page 335-6).
      Max cannot find you a scholar who is contesting these records. Thus, his response to this in terms of the Symmachean forgeries should inform anyone of his readers that he is not closely looking after the things that he writes. That can change, and hopefully it will.
      But this may be an opportunity to bring up something of interest here since the topic of forgeries came up. The following sources *are not from the forgery collection*. Symmachus had a rival to the episcopate of Rome, a man named Laurence. When Symmachus won the election, the party of Laurence sought at first change to accuse Symmachus of wrongdoing. Sure enough, when Symmachus had established the date of Easter to March 25th, the pre-Victorian Paschal cycle, in defiance of the Alexandrine date of April 22, the part of Laurence sought to procure his summons to a court in Ravenna to be indicted. They added other charges as well. During this plan, a synod was held in Italy at the church of St. Maria in Trastevere, at which Symmachus appeared in person, though Laurnence was presiding. After two sessions accomplishing nothing, the synod sought Theodoric the Arian King in order to condemn Symmachus by civil power. But this plan didn’t fall through since Symmachus didn’t show up for trial, and neither did Theodoric seek to intervene. The Italian synod ended with an acquittal on Symmachus. Seems like an unimportant event, but it comes with some interesting details. It just so happens that two Western bishops, Ennodius of Milan & Avitus of Vienne, both venerated Saints in the Orthodox churches, both of whom were strong supporters of the authority of the Roman see. These both wrote in response to Symmachus’ enemies during the above context. In the first place, we have a statement coming from some bishops of Italy who wrote to King Theodoric concerning the attempt of the supporters of Laurence to condemn Symmachus : “…the person [Symmachus] who was attacked ought himself to have called the Council, knowing that to his See in the first place the rank or chiefship of the Apostle Peter, and then the authority of venerable councils following out the Lord’s command, had committed a power without its like in the churches; nor would a precedent be easily found to show, that in a similar matter the prelate of the aforementioned See had been subject to the judgment of his inferiors” (Mansi, viii, 248). St. Avitus of Vienne wrote a letter to the Roman senators, which reads: “We were in a state of anxiety and alarm about the cause of the Roman church, inasmuch as we felt that our order [the episcopate of Gaul] was endangered by an attack upon its head…What license for accusation against the headship of the universal church ought to be allowed?…As a Roman senator and a Christian bishop, I conjure you that the state of the Church be not less precious to you than that of the commonwealth. If you judge the matter with your profound consideration, not merely is that cause which was examined at Rome to be contemplated, but as, if in the case of other Bishops any danger be incurred, it can be repaired, so if the Pope of the city be put into question, not a single bishop, but the episcopate itself, will appear to be in danger. He who rules the Lord’s fold will render an account how he administers the care of the lambs he entrusted to him; but it belongs not to the flock to alarm its own shepherd , but to the judge [God]. Wherefore restore to us, if it be not yet restored, concord in our chief” (Mansi, viii. 293). St. Ennodius wrote , “God perchance has willed to terminate the causes of other men by means of men; but the prelate of that See He has reserved, without question, to His own judgment. It is His will that the successors of the blessed Apostle Peter should owe their innocence to Heaven alone, and should manifest a pure conscience to the inquisition of the most severe Judge [God]. Do you answer; such will be the condition of all souls in that scrutiny? I retort, that to one was said, ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my Church’, and again, that by the voice of holy pontiffs, the dignity of his See has been made venerable in the whole world, since all the faithful everywhere are submitted to it, and it is marked out as the head of the whole body” (Mansi, viii. 284). Some pretty interesting words from these two saints venerated to this day in the Orient.
      Dr. Trevor Jalland corroborates on this in addition to the Symmachean forgeries :
      “Yet in spite of the Pope’s pathetic situation, enthusiastic champions of the Roman see made a timely appearance in the persons of Ennodius of Milan and Avitus of Vienne. The latter may well have expressed the view of the Italian episcopate as well as that of Gaul when he wrote: ‘If the position of the chief (princeps) is shaken by accusation, we feel the position of everyone of us to be weakened’. The work of Ennodius on the other hand, as a reply to the Pope’s enemies, though characterized by clever evasions, violent abuse and a marked dependence on irrelevant quotations of Holy Scripture, bas a special interest as the product of a church which at one time seemed to overshadow even Rome itself as the primatial see of Italy. In him we find the earliest explicit assertion that a distinction is to be drawn between the Pope as an individual and the Pope as the holder of the Papacy. As an individual he will receive just judgment on the Last Day; as Pope he cannot be guilty of anything demanding judicial punishment. It is not difficult to imagine that such a view would have been highly acceptable to one such as Gregory VII, under whose inspiration the Ennodian principle was embodied in the Dictatus Papae.
      Not less remarkable was the abundance of pseudonymous and apochryphal literature which may rightly be regarded as a by-product of this anomalous situation. The chief object of these writings was to make good some of the very obvious defects in the papal structure which recent events had laid bare. They included, besides other suppositious conciliar Acts such as the Gesta Liberii, the Gesta Xysti and Gesta Polychronii, the proceedings of an apocryphal ‘synod of Sineuessa’ at which the unhappy Marcellinus was supposed to have been arraigned. Encouraged to judge himself, the Pope was represented as having declared himself guilty, whereupon Militades, apparently elected and consecrated on the spot, is said to have remarked, ‘Rightly has he been condemned out of his own mouth, for no one has ever judged the Pope, since the first see can be judged by no man’. A similar principle emerges in the contemporary supplement to the Silvestrian saga depicting another imaginary Roman synod, which besides condemning the author of the Paschal cycle, rejected by Symmachus, some hundred years or so before his birth, passed a series of canons of which the last significantly read: ‘No man shall judge the first see’. It is evident from these strange essays in imaginative history that the ideas of Gelasius were already showing themselves prolific, but it would be unjust to Symmachus to attribute to him direct responsibility for the offspring” (Church and Papacy, page 333-4).
      According to Dr. Klaus Schatz, the forgeries were only to get the principle “the First see is judged by none” into canon law. The drafters of the forgery already knew the valid existence of the principle under the pontificate of Pope Gelasius. Schatz writes:
      “The principle that prima sedes a nemine iudicatur, ‘the principal see is judged by no one’ (which effectively means ‘can be judged by no one’) became in the course of the centuries a succinct way of saying that there can be no court above the pope that can condemn him, depose him, or set aside his decisions. In this sense the principle has developed an enormous influence, especially since the eleventh century. But it was known and effective long before that…..In this succinct phrasing [first see is judge by none] the principle can be traced back to the Symmachian forgeries, written in about 500. Their setting was the period of Ostrogoth domination. Pope Symmachus, politically a supporter of the Arian Ostrogoth king Theodoric, faced strong ecclesiastical opposition within the Roman clergy, whose orientation was to Byzantium, and he was about to be deposed by a synod. The forgers hoped that this principle could be used to prevent his deposition; they referred to supposed cases around the year 300 when the deposition of a pope was averted because of this principle. Of course it was only this bold formulation that was new, not the content. It appears very clearly in two letters of Pope Gelasius I from 493 and 495 in the context of the Acacian schism. According to the canons, every can appeal to the pope, but there is no appeal beyond him, ‘and thus he judges the whole church and himself stands before no tribunal, and no judgment can be passed on his judgment, nor can his decision be abrogated’. But it was through the Symmachian forgeries that the principle entered the legal canon; it was this formulation, and not that of Gleasius, that made history, but only slowly and by roundabout ways. It was apparently not until the ninth century that the principle became a fixed element in the legal traditions of Rome, possibly under Frankish influence.” (Papal Primacy: From its Origins to Present, page 73)
       
      ERICK YBARRA WRITES: “SO WE HAVE, THEN, A RECOGNITION BY THE CHURCH FATHERS THIS IDEA THAT THE PETRINE PRIMACY OF THE ROMAN SEE IS NOT AN EXTERNAL REALITY, AS THOUGH IT WAS ADDED UNTO THE EPISCOPAL CONSTITUTION. RATHER, IT IS ONE WITH THE EPISCOPAL CONSTITUTION. SECONDLY, THAT THIS ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF THE EPISCOPAL CONSTITUTION IS NOT SOMETHING WHICH CAN PERTAIN TO ANY AND ALL SEES, BUT ONLY THAT OF THE ROMAN SEE (WE CAN EXPLAIN CONCERNING MORE ABOUT GREGORY’S LETTER WHEREIN HE SPEAKS OF 3 LOCATIONS OF PETER’S SEE IF IT IS BROUGHT UP IN REBUTTAL) SINCE IT ALONE RECEIVES THE SUCCESSION TO PETER’S PRIMACY.”
      —> ERICK DOES NOT BOTHER OFFERING A REBUTTAL OF POPE GREGORY’S VIEW ON 3 LOCATIONS OF PETER’S SEE. BUT LET US SEE WHAT ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM AND ST. THEODORET HAVE TO SAY:
      ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM:
      “IN SPEAKING OF ST. PETER, THE RECOLLECTION OF ANOTHER PETER [FLAVIAN, BISHOP OF ANTIOCH, AT THE TIME THE DISCOURSE WAS WRITTEN,] HAS COME TO ME, THE COMMON FATHER AND TEACHER, WHO HAS INHERITED HIS PROWESS, AND ALSO OBTAINED HIS CHAIR. FOR THIS IS THE ONE GREAT PRIVILEGE OF OUR CITY, ANTIOCH, THAT IT RECEIVED THE LEADER OF THE APOSTLES AS ITS TEACHER IN THE BEGINNING. FOR IT WAS RIGHT THAT SHE WHO WAS FIRST ADORNED WITH THE NAME OF CHRISTIANS, BEFORE THE WHOLE WORLD, SHOULD RECEIVE THE FIRST OF THE APOSTLES AS HER PASTOR. BUT THOUGH WE RECEIVED HIM AS TEACHER, WE DID NOT RETAIN HIM TO THE END, BUT GAVE HIM UP TO ROYAL ROME. OR RATHER WE DID RETAIN HIM TO THE END, FOR THOUGH WE DO NOT RETAIN THE BODY OF PETER, WE DO RETAIN THE FAITH OF PETER, AND RETAINING THE FAITH OF PETER WE HAVE PETER” (ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, “ON THE INSCRIPTION OF THE ACTS”, II; CITED BY E. GILES, DOCUMENTS ILLUSTRATING PAPAL AUTHORITY (LONDON: SPCK, 1952), P. 168. CF. CHAPMAN, STUDIES ON THE EARLY PAPACY, P. 96).
      [NOTE: NOTE THAT ST. FLAVIAN, ARCHBISHOP OF ANTIOCH IS A PETER AND HAS OBTAINED THE CHAIR OF PETER, AND THAT AS LONG AS HE KEEPS THE FAITH OF PETER’S CONFESSION, ANTIOCH HAS A ST. PETER.]
      ST. THEODORET MAKES A SIMILAR STATEMENT ABOUT THE SEE OF ANTIOCH WHEN HE STATES THAT ANTIOCH POSSESSES THE THRONE OF PETER:
      “DIOSCURUS, HOWEVER, REFUSES TO ABIDE BY THESE DECISIONS; HE IS TURNING THE SEE OF THE BLESSED MARK UPSIDE DOWN; AND THESE THINGS HE DOES THOUGH HE PERFECTLY WELL KNOWS THAT THE ANTIOCHEAN METROPOLIS POSSESSES THE THRONE OF THE GREAT PETER, WHO WAS THE TEACHER OF THE BLESSED MARK, AND FIRST AND CORYPHAEUS OF THE APOSTLES.” (PHILIP SCHAFF, NICENE AND POST-NICENE FATHERS (GRAND RAPIDS: EERDMANS, 1956), VOLUME III, THEODORET, EPISTLE 86, TO FLAVIANUS, BISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE, P. 281).
      That the Orthodox continue to bring out Gregory’s letter to the Patriarch of Alexandria is quite shocking. This attempt to equate the Roman see with that of the Alexandrian or Antiochene See is clearly refuted by the following statements of Pope Gregory:
      “As regards the Church of Constantinople, who can doubt that it is subject to the Apostolic See? Why, both our most religious Lord the Emperor and our brother the Bishop of Constantinople continually acknowledge it” (Epistles 9:26).
      “the Apostolic See, which is the head of all other churches” (13:1)
      In a letter to Bishop John of Syracuse, Gregory says : “as to his saying that he is subject to the Apostolic See, if any fault is found in bishops, I know not what bishop is not subject to it. But when no fault requires it to be otherwise, all according to the principle of humility are equal”.
      Anglican Patristic scholar, J.N.D. Kelly wrote that Gregory I
      “was indefatigable…in upholding the Roman primacy, and successfully maintained Rome’s appellate jurisdiction in the east….Gregory argued that St. Peter’s commission [e.g. in Matthew 16:18f] made all churches, Constantinople included, subject to Rome” (The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, page 67).
      Jaroslav Pelikan writes concerning the tri-partite See of Peter Max mentioned:
      “To be sure, Peter had also been in Alexandria and in Antioch, and Gregory sometimes put forth the idea that these two patriarchs shared with him the primacy given to Peter: Rome was the see where Peter had died, Alexandria the see to which he had sent Mark, and Antioch the see which he himself had occupied for seven years. There was one see of Peter in three places. But this touch of whimsy about the apostle did not have any far-reaching implications for Gregory’s concrete doctrine of primacy in the church. Everybody knew that the see of Peter was Rome. When the legates at Chalcedon in 451 responded to the reading of Leo’s Tome with the exclamation, ‘Peter has spoken through the mouth of Leo!’ they were simply giving voice to this general assumption. For the early church, primacy had belonged in a special way to Jerusalem, the mother city of all believers. But it had moved from the capital city of the old Israel to the capital city of the world, which became the capital city of the new Israel….The churches of the Greek East, too, owed a special allegiance to Rome. As far as the Church of Constantinople was concerned, ‘who would doubt that it has been made subject to the apostolic see’, that is, of course, to Rome? By hailing the authority of Leo, the fathers at Chalcedon gave witness to the orthodoxy of Rome. One see after another had capitulated in this or that controversy with heresy. Constantinople had given rise to several heretics during the fourth and fifth centuries, notably Nestorius and Macedonius, and the other sees had also been known to stray from the true faith occasionally. But Rome had a special position. The bishop of Rome had the right by his own authority to annul the acts of a synod. In fact, when there was talk of a council to settle controversies, Gregory asserted the principle that ‘without the authority and the consent of the Apstolic See, none of the matters transacted have any binding force’.   (The Christian Tradition, Vol 1, pages 353-4)
      ERICK YBARRA WRITES: “PAPAL FAILURES DO NOT DIMINISH THE ONTOLOGICAL ROLE OF THE PAPACY, NOR DOES IT PROVE IT IS OF MAN-MADE ORIGIN OR THAT IT IS AN EXTERNAL MACHINERY CREATED FOR THE SAKE OF GOOD ORDER, BUT IT CONTINUES TO BE OF THE ESSENTIAL CONSTITUTION.”
      —> AGAIN, ERICK SEEMS TO FORGET THAT BOTH POPE HONORIUS AND POPE VIGILIUS WERE CONDEMNED BY ECUMENICAL COUNCILS FOR HERESY!
      IF AN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL CAN JUDGE A POPE AS HERETICAL (AS THE SIXTH ECUMENICAL COUNCIL DID WITH REGARDS TO POPE HONORIUS), IT SEEMS CLEAR TO ME THAT THE ECUMENICAL COUNCIL IS THE HIGHEST AUTHORITY IN THE CHURCH.
      ANCIENT POPES WERE REQUIRED TO YIELD TO THE HIGHER AUTHORITY OF AN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL AND ALL DECISIONS EFFECTING THE ENTIRE CHURCH IN MATTERS OF DOCTRINE AND ADMINISTRATION WERE MADE THROUGH CONSENSUS AT ECUMENICAL COUNCILS, THEY WERE NEVER MADE BY PAPAL DECREE ALONE.
      See comments I made about Vigilius and Honorius. As for Max’s insistence that an Ecumenical Council has more binding authority than the Pope. For starters, an authentic Ecumenical Council requires the Pope’s participation, and thus for Catholics, one cannot divorce Pope and Council in the way Max does. It is as St. Gregeory the Great said, without the authority of the Holy See, no Council can have this sort of authority. Secondly, there are plenty of historical evidences which demonstrate that the court of the Roman See exceeded the authority of a Council supposedly claiming to hold jurisdiction over the universal church. I can give you the following examples. When they were condemned by the Council of Ephesus 449, Eusebius of Dorylaeum, St. Flavianos of Constantionple, and Theodoret of Cyrus all appealed to Pope Leo for the overturning of the decrees at Ephesus, which was finalized under the “authority” of Pope of Alexandria, Dioscorus, and Emperor Theodosius II. From all appearances, this was a Council. And for students such as Max, who love to shout the universal power of Justinian at the 5th Council, there isn’t any reason why he should think Ephesus 449 is not ecumenical, at least in preparation and matter. Moreover, Pope Leo unilaterally annulled the 28th canon of the Council of Chalcedon. Even after the bishops at the Council ratified it together with the Patriarch of Constantinople and Emperor Marcian, the Patriarch of Constantinople finally, after two years, admitted to Pope Leo that all the canons were suspended for his approval or disapproval, and he dropped the whole case – at least, he said he would. Following this, you have the fall out in the East to monophysiticism. It was the Roman See which had continued to herald the decrees of Chalcedon. And the only way the East was brought back into the unity of the Church was through a formula drawn up by Pope Hormisdas and officially signed by a great many in the East under the prodding of Justinian I. There is a rumor going around, made popular by a 19thcentury Anglican anti-Catholic writer, Fr. Puller, that the East had made all sorts of modifications and demands of their own before coming into union with the Holy See. Such is nonsense. If space allowed, we could go on to the historical context of the Pelagian controversy in North Africa, the Iconoclastic controversy, and the dispute caused by Photius.
      https://erickybarra.org/2017/01/28/catholic-primacy-answering-some-objections-from-an-eastern-orthodox-researcher/
    • Од Ромејац,
      The Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church is about to convene within the next few days. A group of hierarchs allegedly led by Metropolitan Daniel of Chiatura and Sachkhere is up to discuss the recognition of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), which was established in Kiev in December 2018, and received autocephalous status from the Ecumenical Patriarch.
      Constantinople is especially interested in the recognition of the OCU. If recognized, “Metropolitan” Epiphany and his organization can augment the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s power in the Orthodox world, weaken the Moscow Patriarchate’s influence and allow the Patriarch of Constantinople to make decisions on extremely important matters for Orthodoxy by sole authority.
      Local Churches are in doubt: Despite pressure, none of them has recognized the OCU yet. How could autocephaly have been granted to the Ukrainian Church if it still lacks unity, and some parishes seize the churches of other parishes? Why was autocephaly granted solely by Patriarch Bartholomew, without any discussion with the other Local Churches, in total disregard of the existing canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church? Why there was so much haste with the Tomos, why did it happen shortly before the electoral campaign of Ukraine’s former president Poroshenko? Could Ukrainian autocephaly cause a schism in the Orthodox world? These and other questions were addressed to Constantinople delegations by Local Churches before and after the OCU was established.
      Some Local Churches have opposed Patriarch Bartholomew’s policy—including the Patriarchate of Antioch, which once granted autocephaly to the Georgian Orthodox Church; and the Patriarchate of Serbia, which claimed that the OCU hierarchy has no canonical succession. Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus and Archbishop Anastasios of Albania asked Patriarch Bartholomew to convene a Synaxis of Primates but he firmly refused.
      The OCU’s future is uncertain; the relations between the groups that formed it are unstable. Even now there is a conflict between Philaret Denisenko, the “honorary patriarch” of the OCU, and its formal head Epiphany. This conflict undermines the OCU’s unity and can lead to its breakup in the nearest future.
      If the Georgian Orthodox Church recognizes the OCU, it won’t be able to independently deal with its own issues. Abkhazians have already asked to be allowed to join the Ecumenical Patriarchate and receive the status of autonomy. Metropolitan Emmanuel of France once hinted to the Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia at the fact that the Abkhazian plea could receive a positive answer if the Georgian Church doesn’t support Constantinople. But now Constantinople pretends to have the right to grant autocephaly anywhere across the world. If we recognize the OCU, we will let Constantinople into the canonical territory of the Georgian Church.
      During the previous meeting of Constantinople hierarchs with Ilia II in Tbilisi, one of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s representatives, Metropolitan Amphilochios of Adrianopolis, is said to have begun his speech with the words: “There is an opinion that the Orthodox Church is led by Jesus Christ. But in fact the Church is led by the Ecumenical Patriarch.” The Catholicos-Patriarch seems to disagree with this statement. Those Orthodox hierarchs who are famous for their spiritual experience and the purity of their edifying life disagree with that also, for example, Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, who restored his Church after communist repressions and who is already considered to be saint by many Greeks.
      The Orthodox Church has never followed after the Roman Catholics. But those of spiritual clarity understand that the Orthodox Church is facing a new large-scale threat, and the Ukrainian issue is only a part of it.
      http://orthochristian.com/121558.html?fbclid=IwAR346GxnYyy2ZmMjxgg8cj7JHC0S6U3pcP5s3l20ZfZb6Z2mluDKTOHG4YE

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