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What is the "Orthodox interpretation" of these passages?


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#1 Daniel Smith

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 12:55 AM

"For, according to Apostolic Tradition, Rome held the primacy for the universal Church, and Alexandria was the Church's second see, having the primacy in the Eastern Church. This is confessed by all the fathers who address this subject, and most clearly by Pope St. Damasus I, who issued the following decree in A.D. 382 -- a decree issued in order to defend Alexandria's place as the primate in the East, which was usurped by the Byzantines at the Constantinople I the previous year:

"Although all the Catholic churches spread abroad throughout the world comprise but one bridal chamber of Christ, nevertheless, the holy Roman church has been placed at the forefront not by the conciliar decisions of the churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, Who says: "You are Peter ...(Matt 16:18-19)." In addition to this, there is also the companionship of the vessel of election, the most blessed Apostle Paul who, along with Peter in the city of Rome in the time of Caesar Nero, equally consecrated the above-mentioned holy Roman Church to Christ the Lord; and by their own presence and by their venerable triumph, they set it at the forefront over the others of all the cities of the world. The first see, therefore, is that of Peter the Apostle, that of the Roman church, which has neither stain nor blemish, nor anything like that. The second see is that of Alexandria, consecrated on behalf of the blessed Peter by Mark, his disciple and an Evangelist, who was sent to Egypt by the Apostle Peter, where he preached the word of truth and finished his glorious martyrdom. The third see is that of Antioch, which belonged to the most blessed Peter, where first he dwelled before he came to Rome, and where the name "Christians" was first applied, as to a new people." (Decree of Damasus # 3, 382 A.D.)

This is the ancient order --Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch, in that order of primacy and authority. It was only in about A.D. 700 --after the Alexandria and Antioch had fallen to the Muslims, that Rome recognized Constantinople to be the primate in the East. Before this time, that claim was consistently denied, both by Rome and by the other patriarchs (although Antioch occassionally accepted the Byzantine claim). No where is this fact more clearly illustrated that in Pope St. Leo the Great's condemnation of Canon 28 of Chalcedon, which read:

"...we do also enact and decree the same things concerning the privileges of the most holy Church of Constantinople, which is New Rome. For the Fathers rightly granted privileges to the throne of old Rome, because it was the royal city. And the one hundred fifty most religious Bishops gave equal privileges to the most holy throne of New Rome, justly judging that the city is honored with the Soveriegnty and the Senate and enjoys equal privileges with the old imperial Rome..... (Canon 28, Chalcedon)

However, Pope Leo refused to agree to this canon; and employing a kind of "line item veto," ordered it struck from the Council documents. In this, Bishop Anatolius of Constantinople writes to Pope Leo, apologizing and explaining how the canon came to be, saying ...

“As for those things which the universal Council of Chalcedon recently ordained in favor of the church of Constantinople, let Your Holiness be sure that there was no fault in me, who from my youth have always loved peace and quiet, keeping myself in humility. It was the most reverend clergy of the church of Constantinople who were eager about it, and they were equally supported by the most reverend priests of those parts, who agreed about it. Even so, the whole force of confirmation of the acts was reserved for the authority of Your Blessedness. Therefore, let Your Holiness know for certain that I did nothing to further the matter, knowing always that I held myself bound to avoid the lusts of pride and covetousness.” ---Patriarch Anatolius of Constantinople to Pope Leo, Ep 132 (on the subject of canon 28 of Chalcedon).


How do the Orthodox understand what is written here, with the Patriarch of Constantinople apologizing for the 28th canon of Chalcedon?



#2 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 01:01 AM

This has been discussed ad nauseum in several threads. I recommend you familiarize yourself with the SEARCH feature of this forum.

Herman

#3 Daniel Smith

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 01:15 AM

I am not looking to debate. I know that Papal primacy has been discussed ad nauseam. I would like to know exactly how the Orthodox understand the Patriarch of constantinoples apology for this canon, and his admission that the confirmation of the decrees belongs to the Pope. THAT is what I want to know.

#4 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 02:17 AM

In as much as the Canon 28 stayed in the proceedings, after all the flowery diplomatic hyperbole, the Orthodox view ought to be self-evident. This very subject is discussed quite extensively in this thread: Apostolic Canon 34, on primacy of honor, etc.

Some more pertinent info here: The Papacy in the Fathers

Edited by Herman Blaydoe, 01 April 2012 - 02:21 AM.
added link


#5 Daniel Smith

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 02:24 AM

Thank you. :) IF I can work out the papacy and the Fathers, we just might meet on the right side of the bosphorous one day. :)




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