You are welcome to our eastern corner(ette) of the grace-centered forums (fora?).
Honored to be here. See the West is in somewhat of a communication with the East.lol
You're funny! Yeah, I guess we don't have the "they don't speak our language" excuse anymore.
The altercation shows that there was always a mild dispute about this primacy issue but even still St. Cyprian is a honored saint in the West.
Actually, I give you all credit for this. I wonder if his sainthood was made before the split.
Or the Pope (Victor) who wanted to impose a date for Easter on the whole church. The southern churches (including Polycarp's)
said "no thank you."
But the Church in the same Council adopted the Roman nativity festival and December 25th as the universal observence.
I have news for you friend, most eastern Christians do not celebrate December 25 as the Navity of Christ, but January 7--to this day. Interestingly, in America (where yes I indeed live), most churches celebrate it on December 25 as a concession to the culture. I guess people couldn't deal with their
kids desire to open their presents when everyone else does.
The Easter dating thing is called, by the way (I had to look it up), the quartodeciman controversy.
Please remember both the Cyprian and Quartodeciman controversy are evidence in the sense of examples. Since there was no public polling of the day, you have to assume that other people thought as Cyprian did. Some people will say --about anything ancient-- "well, your example (say, X) doesn't prove that my assumption (Y) is wrong." The problem is no number of Xs can amount to anything using modern evidence for ancient times. For example, notice that most modern Protestants when confronted with writings of the Church Fathers simply say, well, X Church father was wrong. He didn't write for everybody. etc.
Having said all that, these pieces of evidence are pretty strong. Cyprian was well-known and well-admired in the church. It would be hard to believe that many others didn't think like he did. The Quarto (my abbrev) shows that parts of the church not only disagreed with Rome but refused to comply.
If the Bishop of Rome was the only one with authority to speak for the church, why have the ecumenical councils in the first place?
For the same reason St. Peter and the other Apostles and presbyters coordinated together at the Council of Jerusalem before St. Peter spoke.
In the Orthodox church, we think that the ecumenical councils hold the highest level of authority outside of Scripture. But in the Catholic Church,
the role of the councils (you have had about 20) is unclear. Since Vatican I, the Pope could even nullify declarations of a council. And, of course,
Rome didn't always like what the councils had to say. They were not even at the 2nd council - and it took a long time to accept the Patriacharate
of Constantinople to be equal to that of Rome.
Let me pause here and say that Constantinople was not always right, and Rome always wrong. It's not an ethnic thing. It's a matter of who was
The See of Rome was taught as the Chief Leader not the only leader. The Prince of the Apostles not the Dictator of the Apostles.
St Peter was more like, I don't know maybe the President of the United States is the best way to go with it. He wasn't like Adolf Hitler, Stanligrad or Mussolini.
I agree, more or less, with your characterization of St Peter, although I think he was more like Chief Justice of the Surpreme Court (I'll explain later).
But the Bishop of Rome holds far more authority than Peter did. Correct me if I'm wrong: The Pope appoints every cardinal. The Pope appoints
every bishop. If this is true, it goes against the Council of Chaledon. (We're guilty of this too--for other reasons). The Pope has authority over every
individual Catholic. This was not the role of St. Peter. Evidence on this one is easy to find. Note in Acts 1, did the Apostles turn to Peter and ask
him to appoint the twelth apostle? Hebrews 13 says to revere your leaders, for **they** watch over your souls. Other evidence I mentioned before, so
I won't repeat it.
Why was the Bishop of Rome given the title "Patriarch of the West" if he indeed had universal authority?
I always thought it was because Jerusalem was the big guy in the East.
No, I know this sounds strange, but the Bishop of Jerusalem had the least authority. At one council, they actually ranked the 5 patriarchates.
They are: 1) Rome 2) Constantinople 3) Alexandria 4) Antioch 5) Jerusalem. (Alexandria was not happy about this, since they held more
authority, especially regarding apologetics, in the early church.)
I never thought it meant to limit Rome's authority to the west.
You're too close to Rome, my friend. If Light Hammer is the patriarchate of the Catholic Forum on Grace-Centered Forum, why would you assume
you would be the patriarchate of the Orthodox Forum? (I think that is CD Healy, by the way). By defining a jurisdiction, we are limiting
the authority of the leader to that jurisdiction.
We don't call Barack Obama the President of Vermont, although in fact he is. In fact, no offense to the Green Mountain state, but it would kind of
insulting for the President to be introduced at a state dinner as the President of Vermont.
In the olden days honorifics were even more important. So, why would the Bishop of Rome accept the title "Patriarchate of the West" when in
fact he had universal authority? It would not only be insulting but confusing.
So wait are you implying that Rome was jurisdictionally the head of the West?
Yes! At the time of the five patriarchates, the west was the backwater of the religious world. The history of Judaism was in the Middle East.
None of the other four patriarchates was in the west, so, they granted the Pope that title. Rome held that title from around 500 to
2007 A.D. Interestingly, Pope Benedict gave up that description of the RCC. I've got to give him credit for that. Although I disagree that
Rome holds universal authority, dropping this title makes it more clear that this is what Rome claims. On the other hand, if the Pope did the opposite--
renounced his authority over the whole world and kept the title "Patriarchate of the West", we'd be far along the road to unity.
If we are going to the use the title to infer a limitation of jurisdictional authority then it can go both ways. Rome was the head of the western Sees but not the East?
Are you from America, trifecta? Here we next to eat our leaders if they step out of line or if we don't like them, so to me St. Peter and St. Paul bumping heads over a non-doctrinal issue dealing with practice isn't really a compromising factor of St. Peter's primacy.
But note how this was resolved, Paul won. Peter never claimed " I'm the lead apostle. I have authority over you." The proper role of the Bishop of Rome
was historically analogous to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He's the leader of the Court, and to some degree, it's spokesperson. But when it
comes to power issues (voting) he is just one vote of nine.
Well we know Pope Stephen I held this belief because he and St. Cyprian had their little altercation. Does Pope Stephen fit into the category of Early Church?
Well, you are right here. It seems to me that some Popes (Victor, Stephen) claimed some version of universal authority, and some did not (Leo, Martin).
Rome did hold a kind of appellate authority regarding priests getting in trouble, but that is not universal authority (and Rome's opinion did not always win the day). So some Romans in the early church claimed some kind of universal authority--but no one outside of Rome universally accepted Rome's claim.
Let me conclude that although the evidence against universal authority is strong, it is not the largest thing dividing east and west, IMHO. If Rome thought
more like the east, I think I'd consider compromising and giving in Rome here (please don't revoke my membership in the Orthodox Church), but those three As -- Augustine, Acquinas, and Anselm, have caused the West to think quite differently from the East and the early church.