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Talk:Prerogatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

Revision as of 16:57, June 14, 2006 by FrJohn (talk | contribs)

Article said: "Fundamentally, the difference in opinion is based in a different conception of universal Church governance. a) Either each autocephalous church is to be regarded as absolutely sovereign in its sphere, unanswerable to any others, or b) there is a mutual interdependence of the churches and patriarchs upon one another, and this interdependence is expressed in the primatial leadership of the Ecumenical Patriarch"

Why don't have option (c): there is a mutual interdependence of the churches and patriarchs upon one another, and this interdependence doesn't require the primatial leadership of any Patriarch

Probably because, firstly, option (c) is not represented by any sides listed in the article; and secondly, the practical difference between the proposed option (c) and option (a) is negligible - much of the same arguments for multiple jurisdictions could also be used (spiritually interdependant). Of course, a lot of these depend on how one defines "unanswerable", "interdependence" and "primatial leadership", which is possibly part of the problem... — edited by sτévο at 00:57, June 10, 2006 (CDT)

Probably I should read the article more carefully, but does anyone actually teach (a)? It seems that the questions are much more about the character of primacy, what it should look like (and perhaps who should exercise it and how it should be exercised), rather than whether there is any legitimate primacy at all. (a) seems completely untenable from the perspective of ancient canon law, no? — FrJohn (talk)

But from the perspective of the "Third Rome" doctrine, it is tenable. The ecumenical canons of course do not address the newer patriarchates, since they didn't exist at the time. I do agree that it's about the character of primacy, essentially whether it is purely honorific, or whether there is any authority attached to it. Additionally, I have read the view that regards Constantinople's primacy as purely politically based, and so now forfeit.
In any event, it was the claim of Moscow that every autocephalous church has the right to grant autocephaly to one of its constituent parts when it granted the OCA autocephaly in 1970. This very much goes to the heart of the question of Constantinople's primacy, because its response was that only the whole Church, whose voice is expressed by Constantinople in such matters, may make such a grant.
All that aside, though, the article's got a long way to go! —Dcn. Andrew talk random contribs 16:29, June 10, 2006 (CDT)
Sure. Just for the record, I don't think anyone would (or should) say primacy is "purely honorific." That would be a false interpretation of the canons arrived at by a false polemic against the RC church. A primacy of honor implies some rights, privileges, and powers. It seems to me that the dispute, particularly between Moscow and Constantinople, is over the character and specific rights/privileges of this primacy. Maybe there is even a dispute over Constantinople's exercise of primacy, since the canons (alongside a respect for tradition, which is why Rome was kept in first place after the capitol was moved) also work according to a principle of accomodation. I.e. the reason Rome held primacy in the first place was not simply because of the Holy martyrs there or because of some doctrine of Petrine succession, but because it was the seat of the empire. Similarly, Constantinople surpassed all the other ancient sees (excepting Rome) in honor when it became the capitol. An argument may be made today that Constantinople can no longer fulfill this primacy becuase of the restrictions placed on it by the government of Turkey, and that it would be better located elsewhere. (On the other hand, respect for the ancient prerogatives of the see and a concern for the stability of the churches might dictate that it not be moved, or if it be moved, it remains "with Constantinople" so to speak, e.g. in Geneva.) I'm not making that argument - just trying to delineate where I think the fault lines might actually be. That's all IMHO, of course. — FrJohn (talk)
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