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As many readers know, the Monothelite controversy occupied the Church’s attention in the 7th century, and it was concluded by a firm condemnation of the belief that in Christ there is only one single will or that his acts were from one theanadric operation. This evil which inflicted the Church was partly attributable to Pope Honorius I, who’s letters to Sergius, the Patriarch of Constantinople, seemed to have supported the idea that Christ had two natures but one will. Shortly after the reception of these letters, the Eastern Emperor, Heraclius, upon the composition of the Patriarch, released an edict called the Ecthesis ( εκθεσις , literally “statement of faith”), wherein Christ is taught to have one will. This was also accepted by the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch , and Jerusalem. It is reported that the successor of Honorius, Severinus, had time before his death to reject it. The successor of Severinus, John IV, clearly condemned it flat out.
Now, on the Roman side, no one read Honorius as an advocate for this one-will doctrine. His successors, up until at least St. Leo II, denied that such was the meaning of his letter. However, the Council of Constantinople III held in 681 was to unashamedly convict Honorius of heresy (though he was already long dead), and put the conciliar anathema upon him and his memory. To our surprise, at least one Eastern saint of repute, St. Maximus the Confessor, agreed with the immediate successors of Honorius and claimed Honorius’s intention was orthodox. Anyhow, the purpose here isn’t to investigate whether Honorius was a heretic or not, but rather whether Maximus believed in the divine origin of Papal supremacy or infallibility.
In the scholarship of Maximus, some have called into question the authenticity of the more Papalist writings of Maximus, many of which exist today only in the Latin. However, the most recent Orthodox scholarship has not ventured to maintain such skepticism. For example, Orthodox scholars such as Dr. Jean-Claude Larchet, Dr. A. Edward Sciecienski, Fr. Andrew Louth , and Andrew J. Ekonomou have all attempted to interpret the texts in Maximus which favor of Roman primacy in their “proper” context. Not surprisingly, they all arrive at conclusions which do not include Maximus as a witness to the dogma of the contemporary Vatican on supremacy, nor infallibility. In the course of this article, I will be interacting with Larchet and Sciecienski, since it is their assessments which deserve the most attention. Nevertheless how interesting it is to see that, in contrast to former times, Orthodox scholars are recognizing that, for Maximus, Rome is certainly the universal primate who even, by their own admission, had even a certain kind of universal jurisdiction when properly qualified and conditioned. That, in and of itself, is a far step away from the equal-pentarchism or equal-episcopalism with which the East may have given off. That is not to say that there is a consensus on the meaning of primacy in the Orthodox Church, since we know that the greatest minds on the subject have to this very day strongly asserted otherwise. But it is to say that there has been more serious attention given to the historical sources which may have been passed over as spurious by earlier Orthodox historians.
On the view of Roman primacy, Siecienski gravitates to the fact that when Maximus was put under trial in Constantinople and told that the Roman see had plans to unite with the Monophysite Patriarchs, the Saint replied by saying: “The Holy Ghost anathematizes even angels, should they command us to give up the faith“, clearly insinuating that if Rome were to engage in those plans, the Pope would be excommunicated from the body of Christ. This, we are told, is clear evidence that whatever strong Papal theory that Maximus held to, it was one that was confined by the very same conditions put upon all churches for their communion with the true Church, and thus he doesn’t serve to be a witness to the Catholic dogma in the slightest. In fact, when seen in this light, the Roman See can’t be said to possess anything intrinsically different, when it comes to preserving the Apostolic deposit of faith, than any other church, since Rome’s membership in the Church is just as contingent upon holding to the orthodox faith as any other church’s membership depends on it. If this is true, it would remove the force of Maximus from the list of historical witnesses to the divine Papal supremacy and infallibility. Perhaps a strong administrative primacy conditioned upon a true and orthodox faith, but, for the Orthodox, no special protection against error is therein claimed by Maximus.
Before I get into the relevant commentary of what St. Maximus has to say about Rome, I will provide a quick refresher on the sequence of events: (1) After Sergius of Constantinople receives the letters of Pope Honorius, he composes the Ecthesis, teaching Christ had one will, and Emperor Heraclius has it published it throughout Byzantium ; (2) Upon Honorius’s death, envoys from Rome travel to Constantinople to obtain the Emperor’s confirmation of Severinus to Papal office, but the clergy of Constantinople would provide no assistance in confirming Severinus unless he accepted the Ecthesis; (3) Severinus held office for about 2 months, and was succeeded by John IV, who convened a Synod condemning the Ecthesis; (4) Pope John IV wrote a letter to Emperor Heraclius and the Church of Constantinople, now presided over by Pyrrhus, that the Ecthesis, and therefore monotheletism, has been condemned; (5) Pyrrhus, who maintained support of the Ecthesis, was exiled to Africa where he eventually debated the issue of one vs twowills in Christ with St. Maximus the Confessor, and publicly recanted of holding to the one will position (only, as we shall see, to later revert to his heretical position once again); (6) The man installed as Patriarch of Constantinople, without a lawful deposition of Pyrrhus, was named Paul, who was excommunicated by Pope Theodore for holding to the Ecthesis; (7) In response to this, Paul and Constans, the successor to Heraclius, trashed the Ecthesis, but installed the Typus in its place, which forbade any discussion on whether Christ had one or two wills, or one or two operations; (8) Pope Theodore convened a Council in the Lateran Basilica in 649 condemning the Ecthesis and the Typus together; (9) Theodore dies, and Pope St. Martin takes his place, and he and St. Maximus hold up Dyotheletism (two wills and operations in Christ) against the East; (10) Both Sts Martin and Maximus are forced into Imperial captivity, and suffer martyrdom for their belief that, in Christ Jesus, there is two wills and operations, both which appertain to the respective natures of God and humanity. This article will mainly cover the events surrounding the captivity of Maximus and his trial.
When the envoys from Rome traveled to Constantinople in order to receive confirmation of the election of Severinus to Papal office, but were told that no such thing would happen unless the newly elected Pope signed off on the Ecthesis, St. Maximus records the following description of this event as it was reported to him:
“Having discovered the tenor of the document [Ecthesis], since by refusing [to sign] they [the legates] would have caused the first and mother of Churches and the city [ecclesiarum principem et matrem et urbem] to remain so long a time in widowhood [i.e. without a confirmed Bishop], they replied quietly: ‘We cannot act with authority in this matter, for we have received a commission to execute, not an order to make a profession of faith. But we assure you that we will relate all that you have put forward, and we will show the document itself to him who is to be consecrated, and if he should judge it to be correct, we will ask him to append his signature to it. But do not therefore place any obstacle in our way now and do violence to us by delaying us and keeping us here. For none has a right to use violence, especially when faith is in question. For herein even the weakest waxes mighty, and the meek becomes a warrior, and by comforting his soul with the divine word, is hardened against the greatest attacks. How much more in the case of the clergy and Church of the Romans, which from old until now, as the elder of all the Churches which are under the sun, presides over all? Having surely received this canonically, as well from councils and apostles, as from the princes of the latter [Peter & Paul], and being numbered in their company, she is subject to no writings or issues of synodical documents, on account of the eminence of her pontificate, even as in all these things all are equally subject to her according to sacerdotal law‘. And so when, without fear, but with all holy and becoming confidence, those ministers of the truly firm and immovable rock that is of the most great and Apostolic church at Rome, had so applied to the clergy of the royal city [Constantinople] it was seen that they had conciliated them and had acted prudently, that the others might be humble and modest, while they themselves made known the orthodoxy and purity of their own faith from the beginning. But those of Constantinople, admiring their piety, thought that such a deed ought rightly to be recompensed; and ceasing from offering them the document, they promised to produce by their own care the issue of the Emperor’s order with regard to the episcopal election. When this was accomplished, the apocrisiarii [representative of Rome in Constantinople] dear to God thankfully returned home’.” (Ex Epistola Sancti Maximi Scripta ad Abbatem Thalassium, PL 129.585-6, taken from Chapman 5)
Here, Maximus quotes what he was told was the statement made by the Papal legates in his letter to Thalassium. Notice that the legates say that the Church of the Romans:
(1) Presides over all churches under the sun (global church)
(2) Received (1) from canons, councils, and the princes of the Apostles (Peter & Paul)
(3) On account of her authority, is subject to no synodal documents
(4) and holds all in subjection to her according to sacerdotal law
Maximus does not diminish any of this, and appears to go along with it by referencing Rome as the “firm and immovable rock“. The basic message of his is that the clergy of Constantinople should have never given the posture that it did towards the Church of Rome, since that Church is the head of all churches, is not subject to any authoritative measures from any other church or council in the world, and holds all in subjection to her own authority. Now, this text is only preserved in Latin, and so would be one of those texts whose authenticity has been doubted.
When Pyrrhus had returned to his former error, after having publicly recanted the Monotheletism after debating Maximus in Africa, the latter wrote to a certain Eastern official named Peter on the terms of which the twice heretical Pyrrhus could return to the Church and find pardon:
“If the Roman See recognizes Pyrrhus to be not only a reprobate but a heretic, it is certainly plain that everyone who anathematizes those who have rejected Pyrrhus, anathematizes the See of Rome, that is, he anathematizes the Catholic Church. I need hardly add that he excommunicates himself also, if indeed he is in communion with the Roman See and the Catholic Church of God…It is not right that one who has been condemned and cast out by the Apostolic See of the city of Rome for his wrong opinions should be named with any kind of honour, until he be received by her, having returned to her, and to our Lord, by a pious confession and orthodox faith, by which he can receive holiness and the title of holy…Let him [sc. Pyrrhus] hasten before all things to satisfy the Roman See, for if it is satisfied, all will agree in calling him pious and orthodox. [For] he is only wasting words who thinks he must convince or lure such people as myself, instead of satisfying or entreating the blessed Pope of the most holy Catholic Church of Rome, that is, the Apostolic trone, which is from the incanrate Son Himself and which, in accordance with the holy canons and the definitions of faith, received from all the holy councils universal and suprem dominion, authority, and power of binding and loosing over all the holy churches of God which are in the whole world. For with it the Word who is above the celestial powers binds and looses in heaven also. For if he thinks he must satisfy others, and fails to implore the most blessed Roman Pope, he is acting like a man who, when accused of murder or some other crime, does not hasten to prove his innocence to the judge appointed by law, but only uselessly and without profit does his best to demonstrate his innocence to private individuals, who have no power to acquit him from the accusation. Wherefore, my blessed Lord, extend yet further the precept which it is known that you have made well and according to God’s will, by which Pyrrhus is not allowed to speak or misspeak with regard to dogma. But discover clearly his intention by further inquiry , whether he will altogether agree to the truth. And if he is careful to do this, exhort him to make a becoming statement to the Roman Pope, so that by his command the matter concerning Pyrrhus may be canonically and suitably ordered for the glory of God and the praise of your sublimity…” (Opuscula 12, Patrologia Graeca 91.141-146, taken from Chapman 8 and The Oxford Handbook of Maximus the Confessor, page 553)
It is without any doubt that Maximus understood the Roman See to have been possessed of universal supremacy by divine right. In particular, the comparison of making satisfaction and proving innocence before a Judge appointed by divine law and who has power to acquit with Pyrrhus’s obligation to satisfy the Roman See would put to rest any further objection to this. But notice the grounds upon which Maximus saw the Roman primacy to have rested on. The “Incarnate God Himself” ordained the supremacy of the Roman Church. Even if, as Siecienski interpreted, Maximus did not believe in the permanent and invincible infallibility of the Roman See forever, he certainly believed that the Roman See held supreme jurisdiction over the whole universal Church *if she was orthodox*, that, not by man’s design, but by God’s.
And if there was any further doubt, one could also read Maximus’s letter from Rome to the East which says:
“For the very ends of the earth and those in every part of the world who purely and rightly confess the Lord, look directly to the most holy Church of the Romans and its confession and faith as though it were a sun of unfailing light, expecting from it the illuminating splendour of the Fathers and sacred dogmas…For ever since the Incarnate Word of God came down to us, all the churches of Christians everywhere have held that greatest Church there to be their sole base and foundation, since on the one hand, it is in no way overcome by the gates of Hades, according to the very promise of the Saviour , but holds the keys of the orthodox confession and faith in him and opens the only true and real religion to those who approach with godliness, and on the other hand, it shuts up and locks every heretical mouth that speaks unrighteousness against the most High“. (Opuscula 11, PG 91.137-140; trans. Cooper 2005:181; taken from Oxford Handbook, 552)
St. Sophronius of Jerusalem
Patriarch St. Sophronius of Jerusalem had commissioned St. Stephen of Dor, bishop in the Jerusalem Patriarch, to appeal to the Roman See in order to procure the condemnation of the Monothelites. Stephen, who traveled to Rome, describes this aloud at the Council of Lateran 649, of which Maximus took part. This Council was held as Ecumenical by Maximus, and so this open statement at the Council carries some significance: “And for this cause, sometimes we asked for water to our head and to our eyes a fountain of tears, sometimes the wings of a dove, according to holy David, that we might fly away and announce these things to the Chair which rules and presides over all, I mean to yours, the Head and Highest, for the healing of the whole wound. For this it has been accustomed to do from of old and from the beginning with power by its canonical and apostolical authority, because the truly great Peter , head of the Apostles, was clearly thought worthy not only to be entrusted with the keys of heaven, alone apart from the rest, to open it worthily to believers, or to close it justly to those who disbelieve the gospel of grace, but because he was also first commissioned to feed the sheep of the whole Catholic Church; for ‘Peter’, said He, ‘Do you love me? Feed my sheep’, and again , because he had in a manner peculiar and special, a faith in the Lord stronger than all and unchangeable, to be converted and to confirm his fellows and spiritual brethren when tossed about, as having been adorned by God himself, incarnate for us, with power and sacerdotal authority…I was urged by the requests of almost all the pious bishops of the East in agreement with the departed Sophronius…Without delay I made this journey for this purpose alone; and since then thrice have I run to you Apostolic Feet, urging and beseeching the prayer of Sophronius and of all, that is, that you will assist the imperiled faith of Christians”
(Acts of Lateran Synod 649, pg. 143-44)
Fr. Andrew Louth, in his The Ecclesiology of Saint Maximus the Confessor , attempts to undermine the witness of Maximus to contemporary Catholic teaching by saying that Maximus is referring to the “church” of Rome, and not the Papal office. I thought this rather odd since even the Council of Vatican 1870 speaks of the prerogatives of the Roman “See” (it comes up no less than 8 times). There is an internal relationship between the bishopric and the church of which it is committed, and thus the authoritative prerogatives of the church would be subsumed by the bishopric. Louth goes on to say that Maximus was saying this all out of gratitude, thus implying that there was fanciful though unrealistic hyperbole being utilized. However, I could not help but recall that when Maximus could have spared his life in the face of Theodosius and the Imperial consuls by simply being willing to communicate with the Eastern Patriarchs on the condition that they had revoked the Typus (which had been the source of doctrinal contention), he refused to comply unless both they and the Eastern Patriarchs had formally submitted to Rome and the decrees of the Lateran synod of 649. If all he had was a flowery commitment to the Papal institution, then why further risk his life ? I think the answer is put forth very clearly in Maximus’ own words which, in sum, is that communion (not just agreement) with the Roman See *is* communion with the holy Catholic Church. Under that premise, one could understand him risking his life at this very crucial point of his trial. This reminds me of what Dom John Chapman writes in his The Condemnation of Pope Honorius : “When St. Jerome spoke tremendous words about the Pope [Damasus], we are asked to believe that he was exaggerating, or even that he was sarcastic. When the Council of Chalcedon wrote in like strain to St. Leo, we are [asked] to put down its words as empty Oriental flattery. Whatever may be thought of such comments, they cannot be applied to the words in which we have heard St. Maximus again and again set forth the privileges of Rome. Men do not shed their blood to blunt a sarcasm or to justify a [flowerly] compliment” (page 70-71). And finally, Louth mentions how Maximus denied an obedient following with a heretical Pope, which I will address more below.
I wish to conclude this article by devoting the last section to responding to Siecienski’s scholarship on the Maximian view of Roman Primacy. In his section in the Oxford Handbook on Maximus the Confessor, Siecienski takes clear note of the above statements of Maximus on the authority of the Pope. However, he has some reservations before interpreting this as a support for the contemporary doctrine of Papal supremacy. He writes:
“Following the promulgation of Pastor Aeternus (Vatican Council I, 1870), Catholic authors increasingly used Maximus’ writings to support the claim that the pope’s universal jurisdiction and doctrinal infallibility were recognized in the East during the first millennium….Perhaps the most detailed study of Maximus’ views on the papacy come from Jean-Claude Larchet, who examined all the texts in question (Larchet 1998). Larchet tried to contextualize Maximus’ ‘enthusiasim for the papacy in light of the monothelite debates, when Rome was his sole ally against the heretical hierarchs of the East. For Larchet and others, Maximus’ exalted language about the See of Rome manifest ‘the glow of gratitude he must have felt following the Lateran Synod, for the support he had found in Rome’ and besides, it was ‘written about the Church of Rome, not the papacy as such’ (Louth 2004:117). This does not mean that Maximus was being disingenuous, but instead simply recognizes that these texts were written at a time when Rome alone held the line against heresy, and thus had earned the kind of praise Maximus heaped upon her“. (Oxford Handbook, 553-54).
When considering the question of whether Maximus understood communion with the Roman See to be absolutely necessary in order to be in the Church, Siecienski takes note from the trial of Maximus where he was told that the Roman See would be entering communion with the 4 Monothelite Patriarchs of the East:
“Maximus replied: ‘The God of all pronounced that the catholic church was the correct and saving confession of the faith in him when he called Peter blessed because of the terms in which he had made proper confession of him’ (Ep. Max., Allen-Neil 2002:121)”
and Siecienski deduces:
“….if communion with the See of Rome was normative, this state of affairs was entirely contingent on Rome’s continued orthodoxy, which remained a necessary precondition for all the praise and powers he had received….In fact, during his trial Maximus accepted at least the theoretical possibility that he might be forced to break communion with Rome should it too fall victim to the monothelite madness” (Oxford, pg. 554-54)
However, in the record of the trial, Maximus also says the following when he was told Rome was to enter into communion with the Monothelite patriarchs:
“Those [Papal legates] who have come won’t prejudice the See of Rome in any way, even if they do communicate because they haven’t brought a letter to the Patriarch. And I’ll never be convinced that the Romans will be united with the Byzantines, unless they [the Byzantines] confess that our Lord and God by nature wills and works our salvation according to each [of the natures] from which He is, and in which He is, as well as which He is” (ibid, pg. 63)
So we see here, even during the midst of this trial, that Maximus was not going to be convinced that Rome would commit heresy. When pressed even further that Rome has certain plans to enter communion with the Monothelites, Maximus concedes:
“‘The Holy Spirit, through the apostle, condemns even angels who innovate in some way contrary to what is preached” (ibid pg. 555)
Siecienski concludes: “..Maximus, it seems, had not made the logical leap from ‘Rome has not erred’ to ‘Rome could not err’, although the Popes themselves had already begun to think along these lines.” (ibid)
I think Siecienski is wrong that Maximus did not confess the supremacy and infallibility of Rome. Here’s why. If you read the citations from above, Maximus refers to Rome as the sun of unfailing light and the sole base and foundation which cannot be overcome by the gates of Hades, according to the promise of the Savior. Quite literally, Rome teaches the Apostolic faith and cannot fail to do so by virtue of the promise of God. So my argument would be this: Maximus understood the teaching ministry of the Church of Rome to be protected from heresy by the power and promise of God. Therefore, he believed in Papal infallibility. I understand there is a way to interpret him as if he were just merely being hyperbolic or overly enthusiastic, seeing as how Rome was the only orthodox church in the oikumene at the time. That is possible, and I will address this, and it will be clear why I don’t prefer that explanation.
Moreover, Siecienski thinks this interpretation does not run the risk of making Maximus disingenuous, but I disagree. How can you run claims of supremacy and doctrinal infallibility on the basis of Christ’s own divine intention (in letters not even to Rome) as an enthusiastic artwork just to bolster one’s argument? If Maximus’s argument depends on the cogency of his arguments from the church fathers, then it would be redundant to appeal to the divine status of Rome. If anything, by falsely insinuating Rome is infallible, Maximus runs the risk of undermining himself. Were the Popes themselves hyperbolic when they claimed the infallibility of the Roman See (Formula of Hormisdas, Letter of Agatho to Constantinople III)? It is far more likely that Maximus’ claims about Rome are just as genuine as those made by others, regardless if he was wrong or right on the matter. I see no compelling reason to read him any other way.
But what about his statements during his trial? Did not Maximus just come out and say that Rome could fall into heresy? Well, I would argue there is more in between the lines here. Just like some interpreters would take the clear attributions of supremacy and infallibility in Maximus and then fudge them (i.e. make them mere enthusiastic hype) in light of the latter’s willingness to possibly endure separation from Rome if it meant being faithful to the truth, a Catholic is doing nothing different when he interprets the clear admissions of Maximus when under trial and fudges them based on the clear statements of supremacy and infallibility in his other writings. In other words, Maximus could have answered his accusers under trial in such a way that he is willing to concede, as a matter of possibility for the sake of argument, that Rome could fall by the wayside, for which case he would remain faithful to the truth even if it meant he alone was the only orthodox Christian left on the planet, but not actually believe this would ever materialize. On that level, both interpretations are fair and square. But there is more.
As we saw, the record of his trial includes a push-back from Maximus that he would not be convinced of Rome’s concession to heresy. When he was pressed on what he would do if Rome really did commune with the Monothelites, it is quite possible Maximus thought, in his head, “alright, let me concede to what would happen if the impossible actually did happen, hypothetically”. That might sound like a far-fetched interpretation which only reveals my own bias. However, we have objective reasons to interpret it this way. After his trial, where he gave the answers he did, Maximus wrote to Anastasius, his disciple, informing him that he had been told that Rome would be entering into communion with the Monothelite patriarchs, and requested that he and others are to pray for holy mother Church, and to send his letter of concern out for others to read. At the end of this letter is an additional text which was added by a compiler as a set of instructions given to him by either Maximus or Anastasius (some scholars say it was Anastasius himself who added it):
“…in order that, when you have found out about the trial from these, you might all bring a common prayer to the Lord on behalf of our common mother, that is the Catholic Church, and on behalf of us your unworthy servants , for strengthening everyone and us also, persevering with you in it, according to the orthodox faith rightly preached in it by the holy fathers. For there is great fear in the whole world because this [church] endures persecution by everyone at the same time, unless He [God] offers aid by his customary grace, He who always come to aid, leaving the seed of piety at least in older Rome, confirming the promise He made to the prince of Apostles, which does not deceive us” (Maximus the Confessor and His Companions, Page 123)
Even if this additional Latin schola (for it does not exist in the Greek) was added by Anastasius or a contemporary compiler, the person is doubtless connected to the same spirit of Maximus, and the compilers’ statement on the divine promise to Peter and Rome would surely serve as corroborative evidence that Maximus’s contemporaries held to precisely the same view about the Roman See. The compiler who added this states the whole catholic church is threatened by this monstrous evil of monotheletism, and it will take no less than God Himself to come and fulfill His own promise to Saint Peter which includes, at least, the preservation of “seed of piety” in the Roman See. And then to put it on par with the preservation of the Catholic Church herself? Even if the compiler is Theodore Spoudaeus, and not Anastasius the disciple of Maximus himself, it would still be a contemporary witness. I am convinced it is Anastasius who added this to the end of Maximus’s letter, since a similar message exist in the latter’s letter to the monks of Cagliari (see below).
In a letter of the same Anastasius to the Monks of Cagliari, we read of the following:
“Therefore, because the affairs of almost the whole church of God, which has been established as catholic and apostolic, are in great danger on account of these things, we pray on behalf of her and we beseech you, most holy people, that you do not despise her being in danger, but that you help her while she is labouring in the tempests, knowing that love which is in the Holy Spirit grows in the time of tribulation. And if it is possible, [we ask] that you go across more swiftly, as if for some other reason, to the pious men of older Rome, who are solid as a rock, who clearly always protect us as you do, and are most fervent fighters for the truth , to beseech them with supplicatory words and tears n behalf of all Christians , in order that they may gain reward from the Lord, preserving for all, as for themselves, the orthodox faith without newly-invented innovation, and taking up nothing more or less beyond those things, nor approving anything beyond that which has been defined by the holy fathers and synods“. (ibid, 124)
Finally, even if Maximus had come to a point of doubt where he thought about giving up his belief in the supremacy and infallibility of the See of Peter, that does not necessarily mean he did not believe that the whole entire time. He could have very well believed it when he wrote it, but then changed his mind later on. There are Catholics today who go from being ardent Papalists to becoming Orthodox or Protestant, and then give up on their belief in Papal infallibility. Nevertheless, for the reasons I’ve given, I think the best interpretation is that Maximus conceded the fallibility of Rome for the sake of argument, together with some fear that this might actually be true, in which case he wrote his sincere letter to Anastasius.
Now, lest I prove to be the only one who sees this in Maximus, I give you a quote from a Lutheran Scholar on Maximus, Dr. Lars Thuberg, and he explains our Saints view of Roman primacy:
“In a somewhat fragmentary letter to Peter the Illustrious (from 643 or 644), which is preserved only in a Latin version, we find some explicit expressions of a very advanced theology about the position of the bishop of Rome. Maximus simply identified the see of Rome with the Catholic Church and he spoke of ‘the very holy Church of Rome, the apostolic see, which God the Word [Jesus] Himself and likewise all the holy Synods, according to the holy canons and the sacred definitions, have received, and which owns the power in all things and for all, over all the saints who are there for the whole inhabited earth, and likewise the power to unite and to dissolve….’ (Patr. Gr. 91, 144 C). Finally, in a letter written later in Rome, he made himself even more clear in the following maner: ‘...she [the Church of Rome] has the keys of the faith and of the orthodox confession; whoever approaches her humbly, to him is opened the real and unique piety, but she closes her moouth to any heretic who speaks against [divine] justice’ (Patr Gr 91, 140). This invites us to evaluate what Maximus had to say about the primacy of the pope. As Fr Garrigues has clearly shown (in an article in Istina, 1976), Maximus was convinced that Rome would never give way to the pressures of Constantinople. Once more forced to consider the possibility that in the case of Monotheletism the Romans might accept a union with the Byzantines, he answered through the paradoxical words of St. Paul, and said: ‘The Holy Spirit condemns… even the angels that would proclaim anything which is contrary to the Gospel’. (Patr Gr 90, 121). This implies that he did not want to discuss an improbable hypothesis, but would rather declare that he was prepared to die for the truth. This statement is a good starting point for a clarification of his own attitude. His personal experience of the doctrinal position of Rome confirmed his conviction that the promises of our Lord to Peter were applicable to the Church that preserved his relics. Thus, for him the communion of the Churches expressed itself as ‘a Roman communion’, a communion with the bishop of Rome. One must remember that for Maximus there existed only one alternative, represented by Imperial policy with its linke between Church and State, and that alternative could not enjoy the same promises. Even sacramental signs were missing in the latter case.”(The Vision of St Maximus the Confessor: Man and the Cosmos- Lars Thunberg, Page 25-26)
“The Eastern Churches and the Papacy” by S. Herbert Scott
“The Condemnation of Pope Honorius” by Dom John Chapman
“The Building of Christendom” by Dr. Warren Carrol
“Catholicism and Papacy : Some Anglican and Russian Difficulties” by Mgr. Peter Batiffol
“The Ecclesiology of Saint Maximus the Confessor” Fr Andrew Louth (International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church Vol. 4, no 2, July 2004, 109-120)
“Church and Papacy” Trevor Jalland
“The Oxford Handbook o Maximus the Confessor, Edited by Pauline Allen & Bronwen Neil
“The Papacy and the Orthodox” A. Edward Siecienski
“The Acts of the Lateran Synod 649” Richard Price
“Maximus the Confessor and His Companions: Documents from Exile” – Pauline allen & Bronwen Neil
The delegation of the newly created church structure on Holy Mount Athos
The Protos sent a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece G. Katrougalos with a request take measures so that a visit of schismatics would not happen again.
The central executive conciliar body of the Holy Mountain of Athos appealed to the Greek Foreign Minister Georgios Katrougalos with a strong protest in connection with the visit of the OCU delegation to the Holy Mountain, reports the Greek news agency "Romfea".
In the letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Holy Kinot recalled the provocative actions of the OCU "Metropolitan" Mikhail Zinkevich and his delegation, who came to Mount Athos with the national flags of Ukraine and chanted their national anthem.
"This action of this metropolitan <...> constitutes a violation of article 184 of the Constitution of Mount Athos – "any proselytizing and propagandistic action moral, religious, ecclesiastical, social, nationalist and any other nature such as in the Holy Mountain are strictly prohibited," the Protos noted in the letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Also, Mount Athos emphasizes that "this action is incompatible with the hesychastic, spiritual and sacred character of our Holy Land and its over-thousand-year tradition, creates a dangerous precedent for the repetition of such actions from any aspect of the origin and the transfer of nationalist conflicts therein; is totally contrary to the Charter of the Holy Mountain".
Finally, the Holy Community asks the Greek Foreign Ministry to take the necessary measures to prevent such acts in the future so that the character of the Holy Place may remain untouched.
We recall that in April 2019, OCU “Metropolitan” Mikhail Zinkevich, together with 10 pilgrims, visited the Xenophon Monastery on Mount Athos, where he “served the liturgy” and also performed the Ukrainian hymn with the pilgrims.
From 21 to 23 June 2019, the representatives of the OCU also “concelebrated” at the Xenophon Monastery and “proceeded to the sacrament of the Eucharist in the Pantokrator monastery”. Later, the media reported that on the top of Athos, representatives of the OCU shouted "Glory to Ukraine!"
Metropolitan Athanasios (Nicolaou) of Limassol
His Eminence Metropolitan Athanasius explained that he could not consider OCU members as bishops as they did not repent and Filaret “ordained” them under anathema.
The Holy Synod of the Cyprus Orthodox Church doubts whether it is possible to recognize the ordination performed by the head of the UOC KP Filaret Denisenko, including the chirotony of the “Primate” of the OCU Epiphany Dumenko, the Cypriot hierarch, Metropolitan Athanasios (Nicolaou) of Limassol, said in an interview with the UOC Information and Education Department.
“I will read to you an excerpt from the sixth paragraph of the statement of the Holy Synod of the Cyprus Orthodox Church, which states that the Holy Synod cannot recognize as priests those people who did not receive the canonical ordination. Here the sixth paragraph reads: "The 2000-year history of both the Cyprus Church and the entire Orthodox Church calls into question the possibility of legalizing the ordinations performed by the defrocked hierarchs, who were excommunicated and anathematized." Their punishment was recognized by all Orthodox Churches,” noted Vladyka Athanasios. “We recognized the imposition of an anathema on Filaret, and therefore the Synod of the Church of Cyprus doubts that it is possible to recognize the validity of the ordinations and other sacraments performed by him. Therefore, we, the Church of Cyprus, still have not officially recognized Epiphany as the head of the new Ukrainian Church.”
The bishop of the Church of Cyprus agreed with those representatives of the Local Churches who consider the OCU as an assembly of the laity.
“The Synod of the Cyprus Church says the same: the priesthood cannot be among those who were banned from priesthood, were excommunicated or anathematized,” Metropolitan Athanasios explained.
He also stressed that every sin is forgiven through repentance and confession of sin.
“Unfortunately, in the case of Filaret, we did not see this,” the hierarch of the Church of Cyprus stated.
According to His Eminence Metropolitan Athanasios, no one can question what the sacred canons say.
“In the case of Ukraine, some individuals did not have episcopal dignity – this is a group of only so-called bishops who ordained themselves, these are the “bishops” of Makariy (Maletich). There was Filaret, and there was a group of people under the leadership of Makariy, who are essentially self-sacred, they were not ordained,” he noted.
If there was only one group of those who were defrocked but still had ordinations from canonical bishops, the Synod could accept them as ordained through oikonomia, Metropolitan Athanasios added. He stressed that such a thing would be possible only under the condition of repentance.
“Unfortunately, we do not observe this, and we do not see any effective ordination now granted to them,” said the hierarch of the Cypriot Church.
We must seek the will of God, and especially such an approach must be manifested at the level of the Primates of the Churches, he summed up.
Also, the hierarch of the Church of Cyprus noted that the mosaic of autocephalies is a road to a catastrophe. He is sure that the granting of autocephaly cannot be based only on state independence or the existence of separate nationalities, because such logic can have a side effect: if a state loses its political independence, does its Church have to disappear as well?
The Primate of the Alexandrian Church, Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa, in his interview to the newspaper “Ethnos”, for the first time takes a stand on the issue of granting Autocephaly to Ukraine.
Speaking about the attitude of the Archdiocese of Alexandria on the issue of the Autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church, the Patriarch of Alexandria has clearly pointed out that he has lived the pain and schism of the Ukrainian Church, but he knows very well “the Russian Church as well, because I was nurtured there for ten years and the Patriarchate of Alexandria has emotional bonds with it”.
He acknowledges, however, that there is a huge problem, that of the Autocephaly, which “Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew had the right to grant” but he clarifies that what has divided the Churches is the people who took the status of Autocephaly.
He revealed the initiative of Archbishop of Cyprus to meet with the Ecumenical Patriarch so as to ask for a meeting between Bartholomew, himself and the Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow. “Every problem has its solution. Our Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is the Patriarch of Romiosyne, who we all respect and love. Do not forget that this issue is not a dogmatic one. There is a solution to the issue of Autocephaly”.
He also added that there will soon be a new meeting in Nicosia with the participation of the Patriarchates of Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria and the Church of Cyprus.
“I think a solution can be found, if we let aside our personal issues and consider the interest of the Church” he characteristically said.
For the new Archbishop of Australia, Makarios, he stresses that “I know him since a kid, I love and appreciate him. I am glad that Elpidophoros is going to America, and that in France there is another Archpriest from Crete, Emmanuel”.
With regard to his work on the African continent, Theodoros stresses that the biggest challenge he faces in performing his duties is poverty: “Man is no longer happy; there are no smiles and joy anymore. Today affluence is an end in itself, so I see sad faces. However, in my own field of action, which is mainly Black Continent, I do meet happy people”.
Zoran Pezo: Od pada Rimskog carstva do grupe The Fall (Povodom 30. godina filma "Kako je propao rokenrol")Од Милан Ракић,
Kultni filmski omnibus “Kako je propao rokenrol” drži svoj status poput poluga zlata. “Čuo sam da ga puštaju Bad Blue Boysi kad se voze u autobusu na gostovanja”, rekao je između ostalog Zoran Pezo, režiser poznat po emisijama Hit Depo, Ružiona, te po režiranju dodjela nagrade Porin. U filmu “Kako je propao rokenrol” režirao je prvu (od ukupno tri) priče. Obljetnica filma je bila povod za ovaj razgovor u kojem smo se dotakli mnogo toga Kako sada gledate na „Kako je propao rokenrol”? To je prijelomni film naše generacije. Svi smo mislili da neće biti rata, a u filmu vidiš da najavljujemo rat, kad vidiš kartu kako osvaja Nindža. Nindža ima majicu Batmana, a taj film se pojavio tek poslije. To je zasluga scenarista Branka Vukojevića, on je osjećao što će biti trend. Branko je znao koji će bend za godinu dana biti bend broj jedan. On se igrao s naslovom: ‘Kako nam je propao seks?’, ‘Kako nas je propala droga?’. Te zajebancije je bilo stalno. Ja sam u snimanje ušao skoro pa potpuno nespreman. Trebao sam snimati zadnji, a zbog bolesti glumca snimao sam prvi, pripreme su mi skraćene s dva mjeseca na dva-tri tjedna. Ima ona scena kad Sarma (Ratko Tankosić) skuži u WC-u da je Koma Nindža, pa kaže: „Ćuti, bre, Koma, nemoj da te udavim u šolji”. Meni je to bio dobar znak da će film uspjeti, jer Sarma nije mogao od smijeha snimiti ispod 30 repeticija.
Naslov filma je nastao iz Brankove intervencije. Svi smo bili obožavatelji grupe The Fall i voljeli smo Marka E. Smitha i njegovu odbojnost prema mainstreamu. Onda je netko spomenuo da je najlošiji film svih vremena „The Fall of Roman Empire”, pa smo se igrali s tim naslovom i na kraju se iskristalizirao „Kako je propao rokenrol”, i svi su bili zadovoljni s naslovom, dakle tri kompletne ekipe, znači, tri režisera, tri scenarista, Pajkić, Šijan je povremeno s nama razgovarao, došli su muzičari Vlada, Gile i Koja, i kad se sve to ujedinilo kao projekt, tada je to krenulo. Ekipa je bila top, fantastična sa svih strana, bilo da je riječ o beogradskoj, zagrebačkoj ili sarajevskoj.
Najzaslužniji za mogućnost realizacije filma su bili Miša Radivojević i Branko Baletić, direktori Avala filma. Nismo mogli imati više sreće kad smo kao debitanti radili taj film koji nas je jako obilježio. Goran Gajić je već imao prvih problema na snimanju. Bili su mitinzi pred skupštinom, izvukao sam se prije mitinga, već sam montirao svoj dio. Ako gledaš kako Nindža osvaja tržište, točno su tako počinjala žarišta. Već se Bata Živojinović počeo zajebavati, dobacivati, već je tada slovenska roba bila pod embargom u Srbiji, a mi kao ekipa smo mislili da se to u stvari nikad neće dogoditi. Vlada Divljan i ja smo se zezali, hoćete li vi nas napasti, sjebao je sve taj rat.
Branko Vukojević je poznat i kao glazbeni novinar… O njemu je napisana prekrasna monografija „Kako je bio rokenrol”. Branko Vukojević je s Nebojšom Pajkićem bio duša filma. Nebojša je bio središte toga da smo ih sve okupili u tako brzom roku. Branko Vukojević je nakon „Kako je propao rokenrol” napisao scenarij za film Gorana Gajića „Vita jela, zelen bor”. Izvrstan film. Tu se već vidi rat, dvije obitelji komuniciraju putem video kaseta, jedni šalju lovu i žele vidjeti što su sve napravili s tom lovom, ovi drugi muljaju.
Kako se uklopio Bata Živojinović? Čini se da je Bata Živojinović bio vrlo benevolentan… Prišao je sa simpatijama i to se vidjelo. Čak se malo i zafrkavao, doživljavao je to kao rekreativni pristup. Trebali su snimati Bora Todorović i Srđan Todorović Žika – otac i sin u ulogama oca i sina. Međutim, u priču se upleo Kusturica, koji je Bori svašta napričao, i Bora se povukao. Srđan mi je rekao: „Ja ga mogu nagovoriti ako insistiraš”. U međuvremenu stupili smo u kontakt s Batom Živojinovićem koji je bio pojam one kinematografije i svega, a osim toga uloga Krste Klatića Klaje je izgledala kao da se po njemu pisala. Sjećam se da je na Festivalu u Vrnjačkoj Banji pogledao film i oduševio se.
Našao sam Žikinu izjavu kako nije bio baš oduševljen sa svojom ulogom… Žika je imao „method actor” fore, mjesec dana uopće nije prao kosu, on je to jako dobro postavio, nije bio otvoren, nije bio nasmijan i na taj način se zrcalio svom ocu jer je bio klinac koji se bunio protiv sistema. Na probnim snimkama na velikom platnu je bio fantastičan.
U filmu je bilo zezanje sa Sonjom Savić, kojoj u jednom momentu Koma dobacuje da ne voli debele devojke, i onda sam se sjetio da je Gile 1986. Sonji Savić posvetio pjesmu „Debela devojka”. Da li je ta scena referenca na pjesmu „Debela devojka”? Bile su stalno iskrice, konotacije takvog tipa. To je bio krug ljudi koji je bio jako dobar međusobno privatno, kao rock-obitelj.
Koji su bili vaši počeci? Gajić i ja smo počeli kao tinejdžeri i to kao književni kritičari i onda je došao novi val, rokenrol nam je bio puno bliži. Nema otkačenih književnih kritičara, ja sam se bacio na grupu Film, na Haustor, to su bili naši počeci. Imali smo 18-19 godina kad smo počeli i sve se zavrtjelo kad smo imali 24-25. Prvi spot za Partibrejkerse „Hiljadu godina” mi smo radili na njihovoj prvoj zagrebačkoj svirci u Saloonu. Gajić i ja smo pohađali tadašnji CEZAKUM, današnju Drugu gimnaziju, smjer novinski izvjestitelj. Imali smo školski list u kojem su glavni urednici bili Predrag Figenwald i redatelj Danko Volarić, te književnik i urednik Zoran Roško. Vesela televizija je prvotno napravljena za potrebe par koncerata, osnovana je kao “off-shot” projekt, na večeri Prskalica subotom u Lapidariju, ali bili smo toliko popularni da smo počeli to izvoditi sami četvrtkom. Pojavili su se Betamax, mala kamera i mali rekorder i mi smo počeli snimati, paralelno sa školom. Imali smo otkačene parodije, male video-skečeve, zezali smo se na temu Mirka i Slavka, male segmente videa, bilo je i erotike.
Digla se velika fama oko toga, jer nije bilo zamislivo da netko sam proizvodi TV-program. Bili smo u Beogradu, čak i u Makedoniji, čak smo završili na izložbi u Klovićevim dvorima. Zezali smo se da je to „deevolucija hrvatske kulture od Baščanske ploče do Vesele televizije”. Kad smo dobili nagradu „7 sekretara SKOJ-a”, mi smo se zezali „7 samuraja SKOJ-a” i nitko nam to ni tada nije zamjerio. Iskustvo s „Veselom televizijom” nam je jako puno pomoglo za slaganje filma „Kako je propao rokenrol”. Gajić je imao bend po imenu Kapetan Video koji je čak dogurao do pozornice SKC-a. Stalno smo se motali između filmova, videa i rokenrola. Video nam je najbolje išao, a igrani film nam je bio san.
Kako su profesori s Akademije gledali na vaše projekte? U počecima njima se to nikako nije sviđalo. U početku Vukotić i Babaja su bili protiv toga, da bi Akademija kasnije počela proizvoditi samo za televiziju i video. Na Akademiji se dogodio obrat, kad smo mi već krenuli drugim putevima, da su sve radili na videu, a nama je to što smo mi radili na videu bio problem, kao: „Kakav video, ovo je ozbiljna filmska akademija”. Teško su prihvaćali promjene. Babaja se hvalio da nikad u životu nije gledao „Star Wars”, a nama su Spielberg, Scorsese i Lucas bili samo takav pojam. S druge strane, bilo je naprednih ljudi kao Nenad Puhovski, Hrvoje Turković kao avangardni teoretičar, veliki Ante Peterlić koji ti je u teoriji dao sve što ti je mogao dati. Veliki Nikola Tanhofer je radio fotografiju… Svaki snimatelj koji je s nama radio vježbu je bio već zreo da odmah praktički bude u profesionalnoj produkciji. Hrvatska stvarno ima sreće da ima svjetski dobre snimatelje…bila je to dobra Tanhoferova podloga. Krešo Golik se nikad nije bunio na umjetničke stvari, samo zanatski dio posla, ozbiljna pitanja. Mi klinci smo često neke od njih doživljavali kao prepreku. Na kraju kad podvučemo crtu, dosta smo dobili od njih. Bili su to ozbiljni profesori s ozbiljnim znanjima, ali kad su te gurali u svoj umjetnički svijet koji nas tada nije zanimao, onda smo to doživljavali kao opresiju.
S obzirom na povezanost filma i stripa, je li bilo kakvih razmišljanja da se „Kako je propao rokenrol” pretvori u franšizu? Nije, jer nas je bilo puno, nema Branka koji bi to sigurno mogao izvesti… Ima ideja da se proba napraviti spin-off, to već sad nije iduća generacija, sad je Koma deda, ili možda bi se dalo napraviti da je stariji tata. Vidjet ćemo, razgovara se, bilo bi dobro da se još malo zezamo dok su uspomene jake. Nadam se da ću napraviti bar booklet sad za tridesetu obljetnicu. U jesen ćemo u Studentskom centru organizirati 30. obljetnicu filma. Probat ćemo dovesti ekipu, da se svi zabavimo. Koja ima bend Trese lupa udara koji svira muziku iz filma. Gledao sam ga u Vintageu i bio je fantastičan. Bilo bi sjajno da omogućimo da dođe i s tim bendom.
Kako ste funkcionirali s Vladom Divljanom koji je radio muziku za vašu priču u filmu? Divno. On je bio prekrasan čovjek i bilo mi je žao što on i Idoli nisu više poslije svirali u Kulušiću. Bio sam u njegovoj ekipi za tulumarenje po Zagrebu i Beogradu, on je tada tek istraživao po filmu, iako je imao već dvije tri kompletne filmske muzike.
Potpisani ste kao koautor „Ninja mixa”… Da, svirali smo i bili zbor. Nešto smo snimali i s Kojom, koji je više volio da je njegov rad – njegov rad. U filmskoj ekipi, u manjoj ulozi se pojavio i tadašnji bubnjar Električnog orgazma, Goran Čavajda, naš dragi Čavke, koji je nažalost preminuo, laka mu zemlja.
Kako ste uspjeli nagovoriti pjevače kao što su Halid Bešlić i Toma Zdravković da sudjeluju u filmu? I Vesna Zmijanac, i Halid Muslimović je tamo… Nisu oni uski kako se to misli. Baletić me molio da ubacim Tomu jer je već tada bio jako bolestan, da ga ovjekovječimo i da on paše u priču. Odmah sam to i snimio. Snimali smo Zdravkovića u sceni s Batom, najnormalnije, bio je fantastičan, ima svoju scenu, postoji ti verzija filma koja je rađena za TV i to je jedino iskoristila TV Sarajevo i koja je 15 minuta dulja. Verziju za kino smo morali malo sabiti jer nismo htjeli da film bude duži od dva sata. Scena s Tomom Zdravkovićem nije bila toliko bitna za sadržaj, pa je maknuta iz verzije za kina, ta scena je samo objašnjavala kako je Bata fenomenalan narodnjački manager. Mi smo išli na TV Sarajevo tri ponedjeljka kao tri odvojena filma, što je bila odlična fora. Prije toga bi bio razgovor s nama 10-15 minuta i s duljim verzijama naših filmova, što bi se tama zaokružilo na sat vremena. Sukus filma se najbolje zrcali u međuskečevima Zelenog Zuba, kojeg su formirali Gajić i Koja, uza svesrdnu pomoć ostatka ekipe.
Kako ste oba Halida, Vesnu Zmijanac i Tomu nagovorili da to snime? Bila je to neka hit parada, njihov skupni nastup, rekli smo im da će biti na filmu i što treba raditi – slikati se s Ninjom i mahati u kameru. Njima je to bilo super. Poslije sam radio nešto s Bešlićem i čini mi se da on ni ne zna da je u tom filmu. I da ti još nešto kažem. Paralelno u studiju do nas su Dušan Kovačević i njegov ko-redatelj (mislim da je Andrija Đukić) dovršavali „Profesionalca” i mi smo gledali kako rade. Svaki njihov kadar je nama bio sjajan, a Kovačević i njegov koredatelj su se svađali kao pas i mačka. Nama nije bilo jasno zašto se toliko svađaju kad je, kažem, njihov film već tada izgledao super. Mislim da su njih dvojica tek na Festivalu u Puli shvatili kakav su sjajan film napravili.