Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Papal Primacy, So Close and Yet So Far

"Relations with the Orthodox Churches have never been so promising as they have since Joseph Ratzinger has been pope," reports Sandro Magister — "The Pope Is the First Among the Patriarchs." Just How Remains to Be Seen. He quotes a document "approved unanimously by both sides" that "highlights the points of agreement and disagreement" in the following
    Both sides agree that . . . that Rome, as the Church that "presides in love" according to the phrase of St Ignatius of Antioch, occupied the first place in the taxis, and that the bishop of Rome was therefore the protos among the patriarchs. They disagree, however, on the interpretation of the historical evidence from this era regarding the prerogatives of the bishop of Rome as protos, a matter that was already understood in different ways in the first millennium.

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Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

I am not optimistic about reunion with the Orthodox. They have imbibed the spirit of schism for too long to be reconciled, to give up their ethno-centric understanding of the Church, to give up their antique-store approach to Christianity. At the end of the day, their understanding of the Church simply won't allow the concept of a real primacy for any of the Patriarchs over the entire Church, let alone the Roman Pontiff.

I think a more productive approach would be to work with the Orthodox as co-belligerents in the current struggle against secularism and Islamic extremism. And to keep talking with them, keep the door open. But, realistically, don't expect them to walk through the door. They aren't going to do it.

11:13 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

You're probably right, but with the Russians, there seems to be some reason for hope.

5:57 PM  
Blogger papabear said...

From what I have heard from a friend who is Greek Orthodox, there are Orthodox prelates and theologians who are willing to dialogue -- not all are like certain American converts to Orthodoxy.

4:50 PM  

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