Best arguments for East Orthodox?

I have an interesting question: What are the best arguments you’ve heard that promotes the East Orthodox stance on the papacy?
If you want to refute them as well go ahead but please steelman when posting

I really hope this thread takes off because it’s my most burning question.

The best argument for EO? Valid sacraments (mysteries). However, I find their view on the papacy ahistorical. I can’t find any evidence until fairly late on (before the schism, but not much before it). The EOC gets a lot right, but I find their theology to be a bit under developed. THAT SAID, God bless the Orthodox, and especially the ones that are interested in re-establishing communion.

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I’ve come to believe the Eastern Orthodox position that the Bishop of Rome is “First among equals”. Only in matters of faith and morals and only during an impasse does the Bishop of Rome make the final decision. The patriarchs are equal. No one is supreme. The very idea of wanting to be superior or striving to be dominant contradicts Christ’s admonishment against wanting to be “first and lording it over” others.

“Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.”


Wouldn’t this e better off in the non-Catholic or Eastern Catholic section? It seems like EO members are in the best position to answer it.

That’s true I’ll move it

What is “the East[ern] Orthodox stance on the papacy?”

What/who is steelman?

That he’s only a first among equals

It’s the opposite of a strawman where instead of making the argument worse to refute, you put the argument in its best possible form and refute that

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Do the Eastern Orthodox agree on this? They don’t even all agree that Catholics have valid baptisms.

In general they do.


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The Orthodox would agree that Peter had a special position among the twelve but that responsibility and pastoral leadership was not restricted to Peter. In Matthew saint Peter was explicitly commissioned to “bind and loose” but later in the Gospel Christ promises all his disciples that they will do the same thing. The foundation of which the Church is built is related to Peter (Matthew 16:16) but also to the whole apostolic body (Ephesians 2:10). From an article written by Rev. Emmanuel Clapsis, “It is thus possible to conclude that, although the distinctive features of Peter’s ministry are stressed, his ministry is that of an apostle and does not distinguish him from the ministry of the other apostles.,” and, “It is possible to accept the primacy of Rome in a qualified way as part of God’s purpose regarding the Church’s unity and catholicity even while admitting that New Testament texts offer no sufficient basis for it.”



Primacy does not mean supreme and infallibile, and grant the ability to hold councils without the rest of the churches.


This is why I believe that the Chieti Document is such an important piece of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox dialogue.


-I don’t think there is just one argument or point.
-I suppose that the most substantial argument is what has already been mentioned, that in the early church it was generally accepted that all bishops were equal. There was an understood status of “First among equals” granted to Rome but not a “Bishop over the Bishops”. Kind of like in the Roman Church where a “Monsignor” would be to a regular priest or Bishop, but has been bestowed with certain recognition of honor. So, more or less a Title of Honor, not additional power. Many Orthodox seem to feel that the Pope began to exert more evidence of control over the whole church around the 500’s or so. There seem to be more incidences beginning around then where the Roman Pontiff implied control and decisions beyond his particular area.
-It seems to have been generally understood in the early church that each Bishop was in charge of his “diocese” without outside interference of Bishops from other areas.
-At the Council of Jerusalem, James seemed to be the “Chair” of the council and not Peter.
-The early councils were allegedly decided by representation by Bishops from all areas not one presider.


But they also differ the degree of “first” . . .

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Can you still be considered Roman Catholic if you hold this belief?

I am catholic with a small c. I believe in the catholic church, meaning the universal church of Jesus Christ. I have come to realize that Catholicism with a capitol c is not simply a religion. It is a culture. It’s a culture and belief system that I didn’t fully understand before I converted. It’s autocratic. It’s imperialistic. It’s reminiscent of the ancient Roman court. The lust for power has infected Christ’s body like a plague. This aspect of Catholicism wasn’t apparent to me years ago when I converted, but has become blindingly obvious, like a dear in headlights. I do not want to be apart of Catholic culture. I am not a Roman citizen. I have no desire to maintain the remnants of a dead civilization. The Eastern Orthodox have evolved differently. They are too nationalistic, (especially the Russian Orthodox Church). This is why they cannot evangelize. Protestants deny the Eucharist and are divided amongst themselves. I’m Christian, just Christian. That’s enough

Not all Catholics are Roman Catholic, and the belief the glencor63 proposes is the belief that most Eastern Catholics hold to.

A good historical example is the Ukrainian Catholic Church prior to World War II. Met. Andrej Sheptytsky began a program of liturgical reform in order to rid his church of the Latinizations that had crept in over the years. He met with a great deal of opposition from his other bishops, and they eventually came to an impasse. As a body they petition Rome, who vindicated Sheptytsky and not only supported his liturgical reforms, but published his reformed liturgical books (now known as the Ruthenian Recension).

That’s just one historical example.


That would be considered a heterodox belief, so you couldn’t in good faith call yourself Catholic if that’s what you believed.

Ecumenical documents like the Chieti statement are non dogmatic Ecumenical pronouncements.

Dogmatic documents from Ecumenical Councils like Vatican I’s “Pastor Aeternus” and Vatican II’s “Lumen Gentium” and “Christus Dominus” hold infinitely more weight than any documents coming from Ecumenical dialogues. The dogmatic pronouncements from Ecumenical councils are dogmatic and infallible, whereas the ecumenical dialogue documents are fallible and mainly pastoral.

You COULD however remain a Catholic in good faith while hoping and praying that the dogmas of papal infallibility and supremacy be restated or reformulated in a more acceptable way for the Easterners. You could also hope the Catholic Church move to a more collegial ecclesiology as opposed to the more papal ecclesiology. Canon Law and certain canons in it could also be reformed, and the Roman curia could be changed in its function with regard to the East as well.

Something which I personally pray and hope for, is for Rome to promulgate a document explaining the theology behind Filioque and why it’s orthodox, and then permanently mandating that in all Liturgical celebrations in any Rite East or West, the Filioque is NOT to be recited.

I also hope and pray for the Roman Church to reinstate a permanent married Roman priesthood.

I also hope and pray for Rome to go back to administering Chrismation and Communion together with Baptism even to infants, and to stress that Baptism by triple immersion is the ideal form to be utilized whenever possible.

I also hope and pray for a reform of the Roman liturgical Rites so as to have them recover much of what was excised in the post-VII liturgical reforms.

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