Chalcedon: Pope's primacy vs. Constantinople's primacy


#1

I’ve been reading extracts from the acts of the Council of Chalcedon from the online Catholic Encyclopedia. One point really struck me. Near the end of the extracts Eusebius–the bishop of Ancyra–stated that the patriarch of Constantinople is to enjoy the same primacy as the Bishop of Rome based on the fact that Constantinople is the new Rome.
After his speech the reverend bishops cried out that his statement was just, the papal legates seemed to protest that statement. That to a point they thought that what Eusebius of Ancyra declared was insulting both in their presence and in the presence of the Apostolic See. Then the extracts seem to close without anyone knowing what happened next regarding the papal legates.
In regards to this ecumenical council how does the primacy of the pope relate to the primacy of Constantinople that was imposed here?
newadvent.org/fathers/3811.htm


#2

It’s not “same,” it’s “after”

Patriarch and Patriarchate (from newadvent)

III. THE FIVE PATRIARCHATES


But the greatest change, the one that met most opposition, was the rise of Constantinople to patriarchal rank. Because Constantine had made Byzantium “New Rome”, its bishop, once the humble suffragan of Heraclea, thought that he should become second only, if not almost equal, to the Bishop of Old Rome. For many centuries the popes opposed this ambition, not because any one thought of disputing their first place, but because they were unwilling to change the old order of the hierarchy. In 381 the Council of Constantinople declared that: “The Bishop of Constantinople shall have the primacy of honour after the Bishop of Rome, because it is New Rome” (can. iii). The popes (Damasus, Gregory the Great) refused to confirm this canon. Nevertheless Constantinople grew by favour of the emperor, whose centralizing policy found a ready help in the authority of his court bishop. Chalcedon (451) established Constantinople as a patriarchate with jurisdiction over Asia Minor and Thrace and gave it the second place after Rome (can. xxviii). Pope Leo I (440-61) refused to admit this canon, which was made in the absence of his legates; for centuries Rome still refused to give the second place to Constantinople. It was not until the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) that the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople was allowed this place; in 1439 the Council of Florence gave it to the Greek patriarch. Nevertheless in the East the emperor’s wish was powerful enough to obtain recognition for his patriarch; from Chalcedon we must count Constantinople as practically, if not legally, the second patriarchate (ibid., 28-47). So we have the new order of five patriarchs – Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem – that seemed, to Eastern theologians especially, an essential element of the constitution of the Church [see (ibid., 46-47) the letter of Peter III of Antioch, c. 1054].


#3

[quote=beng]It’s not “same,” it’s “after”

[/quote]

You are not reading what I wrote originally. Here is the quote in it’s entirety taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

"The rest cried out: We signed willingly.

The most glorious judges said: As it is manifest that the subscription of each one of the bishops was given without any necessity but of his own will, let the most holy bishops who have not signed say something.

Eusebius, the bishop of Ancyra, said: I am about to speak but for myself alone.

His speech is a personal explanation of his own action with regard to consecrating a bishop for Gangra.]

The most glorious judges said: From what has been done and brought forward on each side, we perceive that the primacy of all (pro panton ta proteia) and the chief honour (ten exaireton timen) according to the canons, is to be kept for the most God-beloved archbishop of Old Rome, but that the most reverend archbishop of the royal city Constantinople, which is new Rome, is to enjoy the honour of the same primacy, and to have the power to ordain the metropolitans in the Asiatic, Pontic, and Thracian dioceses, in this manner: that there be elected by the clergy, and substantial (ktetoron) and most distinguished men of each metropolis and moreover by all the most reverend bishops of the province, or a majority of them, and that he be elected whom those afore mentioned shall deem worthy of the metropolitan episcopate and that he should be presented by all those who had elected him to the most holy archbishop of royal Constantinople, that he might be asked whether he * willed that he should there be ordained, or by his commission in the province where he received the vote to the episcopate. The most reverend bishops of the ordinary towns should be ordained by all the most reverend bishops of the province or by a majority of them, the metropolitan having his power according to the established canon of the fathers, and making with regard to such ordinations no communications to the most holy archbishop of royal Constantinople. Thus the matter appears to us to stand. Let the holy Synod vouchsafe to teach its view of the case.

The most reverend bishops cried out: This is a just sentence. So we all say, These things please us all. This is a just determination. Establish the proposed form of decree. This is a just vote. All has been decreed as should be. We beg you to let us go. By the safety of the Emperor let us go. We all will remain in this opinion, we all say the same things.

Lucentius, the bishop, said: The Apostolic See gave orders that all things should be done in our presence This sentence reads in the Latin: The Apostolic See ought not to be humiliated in our presence]; and therefore whatever yesterday was done to the prejudice of the canons during our absence, we beseech your highness to command to be rescinded. But if not, let our opposition be placed in the minutes, and pray let us know clearly Lat. that we may know] what we are to report to that most apostolic bishop who is the ruler of the whole church, so that he may be able to take action with regard to the indignity done to his See and to the setting at naught of the canons.

[John, the most reverend bishop of Sebaste, said: We all will remain of the opinion expressed by your magnificence.] The most glorious judges said: The whole synod has approved what we proposed."

newadvent.org/fathers/3811.htm*


#4

See emphasis

[quote=Cody]You are not reading what I wrote originally. Here is the quote in it’s entirety taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

"The rest cried out: We signed willingly.

The most glorious judges said: As it is manifest that the subscription of each one of the bishops was given without any necessity but of his own will, let the most holy bishops who have not signed say something.

Eusebius, the bishop of Ancyra, said: I am about to speak but for myself alone.

His speech is a personal explanation of his own action with regard to consecrating a bishop for Gangra.]

The most glorious judges said: From what has been done and brought forward on each side, we perceive that the primacy of all (pro panton ta proteia) and the chief honour (ten exaireton timen) according to the canons, is to be kept for the most God-beloved archbishop of Old Rome, but that the most reverend archbishop of the royal city Constantinople, which is new Rome, is to enjoy the honour of the same primacy, and to have the power to ordain the metropolitans in the Asiatic, Pontic, and Thracian dioceses,

[/quote]

Constantinople has the same primacy over the three dioceses only.

Canon 3, the red part on my post, should shed light to any doubt arising that there are two Sees with equal power.


#5

Canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon was supposed to grant the Patriarchate of Constantinople primacy second only to that of Rome. Rome objected, insisting that the honor of 2nd-primacy belonged to Alexandria, founded by the Apostle Mark. Popular Byzantine myth notwithstanding, the see of Constantinople had no such Apostolic foundation.

The 5th and 6th canons of the First Council of Nicea presupposed the fact that the order of primacy was Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. No mention was made of Constantinople which, again, had absolutely no Apostolic foundation.

The Pope of Rome, Saint Leo the Great, annulled Canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon, as was his right as Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church. See his letters to the Byzantine Emperor, the Empress, and the Byzantine Patriarch. As he writes to the Empress:

Let him [Patriarch Anatolius of Constantinople] realize what a man he has succeeded, and expelling all the spirit of pride let him imitate [Saint] Flavian’s faith, Flavian’s modesty, Flavian’s humility, which has raised him right to a confessor’s glory. If he will shine with his virtues, he will merit all praise, and in all quarters he will win an abundance of love not by seeking human advancement but by deserving Divine favour. And by this careful course I promise he will bind my heart also to him, and the love of the Apostolic See, which we have ever bestowed on the church of Constantinople, shall never be violated by any change. Because if sometimes rulers fall into errors through want of moderation, yet the churches of Christ do not lose their purity. But the bishops’ assents, which are opposed to the regulations of the holy canons composed at Nicaea in conjunction with your faithful Grace, we do not recognize, and by the blessed Apostle Peter’s authority we absolutely dis-annul in comprehensive terms, in all ecclesiastical cases obeying those laws which the Holy Ghost set forth by the 318 bishops for the pacific observance of all priests in such sort that even if a much greater number were to pass a different decree to theirs, whatever was opposed to their constitution would have to be held in no respect.

What’s more, his right to anull was accepted by the Eastern Churches, including the Byzantine Emperor and the Patriarch of Constantinople! Here was Anatloius’s reply to Pope Leo regarding Canon 28 and Leo’s anullment of it:

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.


#6

This was itself in perfect conformity with what the Fathers of the Council of Chacledon had written to the Pope, when they seeked his ratification of the Council’s decrees:

And this golden chain leading down from the Author of the command to us, you yourself have stedfastly preserved,** being set as the mouthpiece unto all of the blessed Peter**, and imparting the blessedness of his Faith unto all. . . . For if “where two or three are gathered together in His name,” He has said that “there He is in the midst of them,” must He not have been much more particularly present with 520 priests, who preferred the spread of knowledge concerning Him to their country and their ease?** Of whom you were, chief, as the head to the members,** showing your goodwill in the person of those who represented you; whilst our religious Emperors presided to the furtherance of due order, inviting us to restore the doctrinal fabric of the Church, even as Zerubbabel invited Joshua to rebuild Jerusalem.

. . .

And the adversary would have been like a wild beast outside the fold, roaring to himself and unable to seize any one, had not the late bishop of Alexandria thrown himself for a prey to him [Dioscorus], who, though he had done many terrible things before, eclipsed the former by the latter deeds; for contrary to all the injunctions of the canons, he deposed that blessed shepherd of the saints at Constantinople, Flavian, who displayed such Apostolic faith, and the most pious bishop Eusebius, and acquitted by his terror-won votes Eutyches, who had been condemned for heresy, and restored to him the dignity which your holiness had taken away from him as unworthy of it, and like the strangest of wild beasts, falling upon the vine which he found in the finest condition, he uprooted it and brought in that which had been cast away as unfruitful, and those who acted like true shepherds he cut off, and set over the flocks those who had shown themselves wolves: and besides all this he stretched forth his fury even against him who had been charged with the custody of the vine by the Saviour, we mean of course your holiness, and purposed excommunication against one who had at heart the unifying of the Church.

. . .

We have ratified also the canon of the 150 holy Fathers who met at Constantinople in the time of the great Theodosius of holy memory, which ordains that after your most holy and Apostolic See, the See of Constantinople shall take precedence, being placed second: for we are persuaded that with your usual care for others you have often extended that Apostolic prestige which belongs to you, to the church in Constantinople also, by virtue of your great disinterestedness in sharing all your own good things with your spiritual kinsfolk. . . . For we duly regarding our most devout and Christ loving Emperors, who delight therein, and the illustrious senate and, so to say, the whole imperial city, considered it opportune to use the meeting of this ecumenical Synod for the ratification of your honour, and confidently corroborated this decision as if it were initiated by you with your customary fostering zeal, knowing that every success of the children rebounds to the parent’s glory. Accordingly, we entreat you, honour our decision by your assent, and as we have yielded to the head our agreement on things honourable, so may the head also fulfil for the children what is fitting.

What’s even more ironic is that the Orthodox to this day consider Saint Leo to be a saint.


#7

For some more documentation, you can go here. Here’s an interesting tidbit:

So, the matter was settled; and, for the next 6 centuries, all Eastern churches speak of only 27 canons of Chalcedon – the 28th Canon being rendered null and void by Rome’s “line item veto.” This is supported by all the Greek historians, such as Theodore the Lector (writing in 551 AD), John Skolastikas (writing in 550 AD), Dionysius Exegius (also around 550 AD); and by Roman Popes like Pope St. Gelasius (c. 495) and Pope Symmachus (c. 500) – all of whom speak of only 27 Canons of Chalcedon.

Apparently, however, this acknowledgement of the Pope’s supreme authority (unanimous in the West and widely, widely held in the orthodox East) was not universal. In practice, if not in orthodox Catholic legislation, Constantinople continued to rank second to Rome, for no other reason than it was the political capital of the then-Roman Empire.

So you see, disobedience to the Pope is nothing new . . .

:rolleyes:


#8

Note that Rome did accept the Canon in question when it was politically expedient for them to do so, when they had a Latin on the throne in Constantinople.


#9

Note that Rome did accept the Canon in question when it was politically expedient for them to do so, when they had a Latin on the throne in Constantinople.

True that.

For the sake of Church unity, it was also later conceded to even the Orthodox when they took reposession of Constantinople.

I suppose that’s where it now stands, and in a reunited Church Constantinople would rank second.

Sorry, Alexandria . . .


#10

[quote=prodromos]Note that Rome did accept the Canon in question when it was politically expedient for them to do so, when they had a Latin on the throne in Constantinople.
[/quote]

What Canon? Canon 3 was refused by Popes until after Lateran.


#11

Beng:

You’re thinking about the wrong canon, from the wrong Council.

Canon 28 of Chalcedon was, in fact, official recognized by the Popes after a Latin Patirarch was put in Constantinople.

This recognition was reaffirmed later when the Orthodox gained control of the city again. See the very first post above, and the quote from the Catholic Encyclopedia.


#12

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