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Re: The Pope and Orthodoxy

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May 29, 2002 12:36AM
Christ is risen!!!
Greetings to all.


It seems that Brett has indeed answered both of your questions. I will only elaborate a bit as to the place of the Bishop of Rome (Pope) occupies with regard to his relationship with the Holy Orthodox Church. The Pope is indeed recognized as the Bishop of Rome, but like all bishops, his jurisdiction in matters of doctrine and local church matters is limited to those churches directly under his episcopate.....ie, the "Western Roman Catholic Church" and the Byzantine Catholic Church. He has no jurisdiction over the "Eastern Orthodox Church".

As such, the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs (Bishops of the Primary Sees...Antioch, Jerusalem, Constantinople, Alexandria, Moscow) simply recognize the Pope as simply one bishop (See of Rome) among equals. Because Rome was at one time the capital city of the Roman Empire, he was afforded the title of "First Among Equals" or as having the "First Place of Love". Whenever ecumenical councils were held, he would act as a type of "chairman of the board", but at no time was he ever thought of as having any authority over the other Patriarchs.

Unfortunately, with the collapse of the empire in the west, the Western Church was called on more and more to take an active role in the affairs of state and eventually took the place of the secular state. This only served to strengthen the Pope's political power and served to establish how the Western Church eventually came to believe that the Pope was in fact the head of the Church on earth. Eventually the Pope saw it as his right and duty to intervene in the affairs of the Eastern Churches. This meddling was not well received by the Eastern Patriarchs as you might guess.

Hence, friction between the Roman See and the Eastern Sees became more prevalent due to the fact that the Western Church used Latin and the Eastern Church used Greek. Innovation also took place with regards to the Papacy unilaterally adding the infamous "filioque" clause to the Nicene Creed. This was more than the Eastern Patriarchs could tolerate and the Great Schism of 1054 eventually officially separated the two halves of Christendom.

Since the schism the Pope has continued to afford himself addtional powers such as infallibility when speaking "ex cathedra". This has led to the heresies of purgatory, indulgences, immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary, bodily assumption of the Virgin Mary, and the doctrine of papal infallibility itself.

I know this is a very brief expose of almost 2000 years of papal history but I believe you can get the idea. The Ancient Apostlic Church had a system of collegial government when it came to settling matters of doctrine and faith. This is the same collegial system our Holy Orthodox Church uses to this day, as it is indeed the Church which safeguards the "faith once and for all delivered to the Saints".

Hope this helps. God Bless.

Subject Author Posted

The Pope and Orthodoxy

Iacov May 28, 2002 06:52PM

Re: The Pope and Orthodoxy

Brett May 28, 2002 11:35PM

Re: The Pope and Orthodoxy

Thomas May 29, 2002 12:36AM

Re: The Pope and Orthodoxy

Maximos May 30, 2002 02:59PM

Re: The Pope and Orthodoxy

Ron May 30, 2002 03:02PM

Re: The Pope and Orthodoxy

Aristibule July 05, 2002 09:11PM

Re: The Pope and Orthodoxy

Damian July 07, 2002 01:33AM

Re: The Pope and Orthodoxy

Damian July 06, 2002 02:24AM

Re: The Pope and Orthodoxy

jake July 24, 2002 05:05PM