Do the Orthodox recognise the Petrine succession of the Popes?

I ask this because a Statement in one of the first ecumenical councils supported this idea strongly.
In 451 at the Council of Chalcedon,
it stated in one of the documents from the council that :

“After the reading of the foregoing epistle, the most
reverend bishops cried out: This is the faith of the
fathers, this is the faith of the Apostles. So we all
believe, thus the orthodox believe. Anathema to
him who does not thus believe. Peter has
spoken thus through Leo
. So taught the
Apostles. Piously and truly did Leo teach, so
taught Cyril. Everlasting be the memory of Cyril.
Leo and Cyril taught the same thing, anathema to
him who does not so believe. This is the true faith.
Those of us who are orthodox thus believe. This
is the faith of the fathers. Why were not these
things read at Ephesus *? These are the things Dioscorus hid

Also what are the Orthodox views on the authority of the Pope over other patriarchates/churches not in his jurisdiction. Some Early Church writings and historical records affirm the Pope had authority over more than just the West but even on the east I.e. The whole Church.

NOTE : let us speak peacefully about this and let us learn from one another please?*

If they believe that the Pope is the successor of Peter, why do they have to make such a declaration during the Council? Shouldn’t it be a given?

I think its just simply a formality or a statement of respect and re-affirmation. Just like people in those times addressed kings and queens as “my Lord” or “my king” even though it was a given that need not be said more than once. They did so out of respect and re-affirmation.

No it is not. See the East never viewed Peter as an office, but rather the Petrine faith. Peter was given the keys to the Kingdom because of His confession of the orthodox (true) faith. Thus anyone who confesses the true faith has spoken just as Peter had spoken.

That is the context of that statement.

You are 100% absolutely sure the East NEVER in its long history viewed the papacy as an office?

The Papacy, yes. But as the office of Peter? No.

Really? Then please explain these quotes from the early church :

Tertullian (c. AD 197) speaks of Peter apart from Paul as ordaining Clement as his episcopal successor (De Praescrip Haer 32).

(2) The Poem Against Marcion (c. 200 AD) states how “Peter bad Linus to take his place and sit on the chair whereon he himself had sat” (III, 80). The word “chair” (cathedra) in ecclesiastical language always means one’s episcopal throne (i.e. the bishop’s chair).

(3) Caius of Rome (214 AD) calls Pope Victor the thirteenth bishop of Rome after Peter (Euseb HE V, 28).

(4) Hippolytus (225 AD) counts Peter as the first Bishop of Rome (Dict Christian Biog I, 577).

(5) Cyprian (in 250) speaks of Rome as “the place of Peter” (Ep ad Anton), and as “the Chair of Peter” (Ep ad Pope Cornelius).

(6) Firmilian (257) speaks of Pope Stephen’s claim to the “succession of Peter” and to the “Chair of Peter” (Ep ad Cyprian).

(7) Eusebius (314) says that Peter was “the bishop of Rome for twenty-five years” (Chron an 44), and calls Linus “first after Peter to obtain the episcopate” (Chron an 66). He also says that Victor was “the thirteenth bishop of Rome after Peter” (HE III, 4).

(8) The Council of Sardica “honors the memory of the Apostle Peter” in granting Pope Julius I the right to judge cases involving other episcopal sees under imperial Roman law (Sardica Canon IV, and Ep ad Pope Julius).

(9) Athanasius (340’s) calls Rome the “Apostolic Throne” – a reference to the Apostle Peter as the first bishop to occupy that throne (Hist Arian ad Monarch 35).

(10) Optatus (370) says that the episcopal chair of Rome was first established by Peter, “in which chair sat Peter himself.” He also says how “Peter first filled the pre-eminent chair,” which “is the first of the marks of the Church.” (Schism Donat II, 2 and II, 3).

(11) Pope Damasus (370) speaks of the “Apostolic chair” in which “the holy Apostle sitting, taught his successors how to guide the helm of the Church” (Ep ix ad Synod, Orient ap Theodoret V, 10). Damasus also states how “The first See is that of Peter the Apostle, that of the Roman church” and says how Rome received primacy not by the conciliar decisions of the other churches, but from the evangelic voice of the Lord, when He says, “Thou art Peter…” (Decree of Damasus 382).

(12) Ambrose (c. 390) speaks of Rome as “Peter’s chair” and the Roman church where “Peter, first of the Apostles, first sat” (De Poenit I, 7-32, Exp Symb ad Initiand).

(13) Jerome (c. 390) speaks of Rome as the “chair of Peter” and the “Apostolic chair,” and states that Peter held the episcopal chair for twenty-five years at Rome (Epistle 15 and se Vir Illust I, 1).

(14) Augustine (c. 400) tells us to number the bishops of Rome from the chair of Peter itself (in Ps contra Part Donat), and speaks of “the chair of the Roman church in which Peter first sat” (Contra Lit Petil).

*"The papacy undeniably has undergone development historically. In this section though we will look at the papacy from how it manifested itself in the pre-Nicaea period. This is being done to aid in properly understanding the later developments of papal authority by assessing the seeds of what would later be called papal jurisdiction and (by implication) papal infallibility. The Primacy of the Roman See is a well-established fact of Church history that was even attested to by Orthodox scholars Fr. Nicholas Afanassieff and Fr. Alexander Schmemann. They did not concede everything on the matter that the Catholic Church claims of course. However, it is important to notice how what they do say is perfectly consistent with the development of doctrine paradigm. This is concerning the Catholic doctrine of primacy of the Roman See as well as Rome being the final court of appeal in the early Church. In discussing the topic of St. Peter’s Primacy, we will start with Fr. Nicholas Afanassieff. Fr Afanassieff was a professor of canon law and church history at the Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris. The quotations from him and Fr. Alexander Schmemann were taken from an Orthodox source titled The Primacy of Peter: Essays in Ecclesiology and the Early Church (edited by JohnMeyendorff):

'As we study the problem of primacy in general, and especially the primacy of Rome, we must not be ruled by polemical motives: the problem is to be solved to satisfy ourselves and Orthodox theology. The solution of the problem is urgent, since Orthodox theology has not yet built up any systematic doctrine on Church government. And although we have a doctrine concerning Ecumenical Councils as organs of government in the Church, we shall see presently that our doctrine is not enough to refute the Catholic doctrine of primacy…

The epistle is couched in very measured terms, in the form of an exhortation; but at the same time it clearly shows that the Church of Rome was aware of the decisive weight, in the Church of Corinth’s eyes, that must attach to its witness about the events in Corinth. So the Church of Rome, at the end of the first century, exhibits a marked sense of its own priority, in point of witness about events in other churches. Note also that the Roman Church did not feel obliged to make a case, however argued, to justify its authoritative pronouncements on what we should now call the internal concerns of other churches… Apparently Rome had no doubt that its priority would be accepted without argument.’ "*exerpt taken from :

The forefathers of Eastern Orthodox Church recognized the universal authority of the Pope of Rome. For example, St. Maximus the Confessor, a famous monk from Constantinople and a father of the Eastern Orthodox Church, writes …

“How much more in the case of the clergy and church of the Romans, which from old until now presides over all the churches which are under the sun? Having surely received this canonically, as well as from councils and the apostles, as from the princes of the latter (Peter & Paul), and being numbered in their company, she is subject to no writings or issues in synodical documents, on account of the eminence of her pontificate …even as in all these things all are equally subject to her (the Church of Rome) according to sacerodotal law. And so when, without fear, but with all holy and becoming confidence, those ministers (the Popes) are of the truly firm and immovable rock, that is of the most great and Apostolic Church of Rome.” (Maximus, in J.B. Mansi, ed. Amplissima Collectio Conciliorum, vol. 10)

Likewise, Sts. Cyril and Methodius, the famous Byzantine “Apostles to the Slav” (and founders of the Eastern Orthodox Church in the Balkans), writes …

Because of his primacy, the Pontiff of Rome is not required to attend an Ecumenical Council; but without his participation, manifested by sending some subordinates, every Ecumenical Council is as non-existant, for it is he who presides over the Council.” (–Methodius —N. Brian-Chaninov, The Russian Church (1931), 46; cited by Butler, Church and Infallibility, 210) (Upon This Rock (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1999), p. 177).

“It is not true, as this Canon states, that the holy Fathers gave the primacy to old Rome because it was the capital of the Empire; it is from on high, from divine grace, that this primacy drew its origin. Because of the intensity of his faith Peter, the first of the Apostles, was addressed in these words by our Lord Jesus Christ himself ‘Peter, lovest thou me? Feed my sheep’. That is why in hierarchical order Rome holds the pre-eminent place and is the first See. That is why the leges of old Rome are eternally immovable, and that is the view of all the Churches” (Ibid)

source :

Pope Victor I tried to assert his authority over the East in the 190s, as did Pope Stephen I in the 250s, and neither attempt was well received. While there were some Greeks who believed that Rome ought to have such a role, many conferred not supremacy of power but primacy of honour, yet even that distinction was not universally accepted. This is evident through the Ecumenical Councils.

Nicaea I, in 325, establishes the autonomy of each see: in canon 4, the Council decrees that each bishop “should be appointed by all the bishops of the province”, and that “in each province the right of confirming the proceedings belongs to the metropolitan bishop”. Canon 6 specifies that Alexandria should have “authority over [Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis] since a similar custom exists with reference to the bishop of Rome.” This is the first reference to authority, and it clearly indicates the localisation of that authority: Rome had it, as a result of custom, over its neighbouring smaller churches, and so Alexandria had it over its neighbouring smaller churches, but no one is given supervening power.

From Constantinople I, in 381, canon 2 once again decrees the localisation of the power of bishops (including metropolitans), and canon 3 says, “Because it is new Rome, the bishop of Constantinople is to enjoy the privileges of honour after the bishop of Rome.” Notably, Rome is accorded greater honour, rather than greater power. The decrees were ratified by Theodosius I, co-Emperor of Rome: at this period, and later, the empire was so large that it had two emperors, one in Rome and the other in Constantinople, a division which the Church mirrored. What is also important in respect to this council is the letter from the attending bishops to Damasus, the Bishop of Rome. This emphasises the unity of the Church, and the absence of any Roman power over the east: “you should not now reign in isolation from us, given the complete agreement of the emperors in matters of religion. Rather, according to the word of the apostle, we should reign along with you.” They advise Damasus, saying, “You, we and all who are not bent on subverting the word of the true faith should give this [Niceno-Constantinopolitan] creed our approval.” They reaffirm the autonomy of each province, and describe as “canonical” the ordination of eastern bishops by eastern churches, emphasising this by using the term thrice in quick succession.

In 431, the Council of Ephesus refers to the Nicene Creed as “the confessions of the holy fathers, which they made with the holy Spirit speaking in them, … the royal way”. It also later makes an interesting point about apostles: “Peter and John were equal in honour to each other, being both of them apostles and holy disciples”. Once again, it localises the power of bishops: “The same principle will be observed for other dioceses and provinces everywhere. None of the reverent bishops is to take possession of another province which has not been under his authority from the first or under that of his predecessors.”

At Chalcedon in 451, canon 28 explicitly places Rome and Constantinople on an equal footing. Notably, the Pope did not accept this canon, although the Council had. This council affirms the necessity of the unity of faith, proclaiming, “no one should disagree with his neighbour regarding religious doctrines”. We should also note that this council referred, together in one sentence, to the bishops of Rome and Constantinople as “Archbishop Leo” and “Archbishop Flavian”. There is no differentiation of titles.

Canons 4, 5, 10 and 12 of this council reaffirm, yet again, the localisation and unchanging nature of the power of the bishops and metropolitans. Canon 17, however, is more interesting, because it refers to disputes between bishops and says, “If there are any who are wronged by their own metropolitan, let their case be judged either by the exarch of the diocese or by the see of Constantinople”. It was to Constantinople, rather than to Rome, that they looked for mediation. Canon 30 also exempts the Egyptian bishops from the requirement to sign Archbishop (Pope) Leo’s letter because they had no archbishop in Alexandria to ratify it, another demonstration that Leo’s authority did not hold there.

The fifth council was Constantinople II, in 553. This council was summoned because, after Vigilius of Rome wrote a condemnation of the ideas of Theodore of Mopsuestia “the bishops of the west and especially of Africa unanimously opposed it…] the Roman pontiff refused to take part in the council, because Justinian had summoned bishops in equal numbers from each of the five patriarchal sees, so that there would be many more eastern than western bishops present”. Trying to persuade Vigilius to attend, the bishops first describe all of the apostles as equals and then appeal to history, saying, “The holy fathers, who have gathered at intervals in the four holy councils, have followed the examples of antiquity. They dealt with heresies and current problems by debate in common, since it was established as certain that when the disputed question is set out by each side in communal discussions, the light of truth drives out the shadows of lying. The truth cannot be made clear in any other way when there are debates about questions of faith, since everyone requires the assistance of his neighbour.”

The next council was Constantinople III, in 680-1. This is particularly noteworthy for its anathematization (condemning and cursing with separation from God), of former bishops of Constantinople, Rome, Alexandria and Antioch. In other words, they condemned patriarchs from four out of the five patriarchates, perhaps the most obvious demonstration of the power of these councils.

The last of the seven great Ecumenical Councils was held, as the first had been, at Nicaea, in 787. Apart from its reaffirmation of the acts of the sixth council, it holds little relevance here, except in that it also reaffirms the mediatory role of Constantinople: in canon 11, it states that, if the bishops of churches could not appoint administrators for them, the bishop of Constantinople “on his own authority has the right to appoint one over the other’s church”.

Hopefully, this should have given you some idea of the large, but not dominating, role that Rome played in the early Church, and also of the growing rivalry between Rome and Constantinople, which finally tore the Church apart. A fundamental problem in all of this was that, from a very early point, the West’s view of Rome’s role differed from the East’s.

I THINK the answer is “yes they do.” But they also believe in the Petrine succession of every Patriarch and Bishop in the Orthodox Church as well.

As with almost everything, it comes down to how you interpret Christs words. Did he mean " You, Peter, and then every successor to you in whatever town you happen to die in? Or did He mean, You Peter and then to those whom you (and the Apostles) consecrate in My name?

I don’t mean to belittle the claim of my own faith (Catholic as of now) to this, but I do admit I’m not sure what the intent was. Seems to me that jesus said what he said, and mere men said everything else, unless the RCC is correct, in which case i could be in trouble for thinking thusly. :wink:

That post sounded like I may be a lost cause for the RCC. Not so. I am somewhere in the middle, trying to figure out where I’m supposed to be.

God knows our hearts. He knows our intentions. He knows you, and He knows others like you. I am with you on this one.

From my deliberation of scriptures, and other writings of the early church, there are several ways to interpret, ‘upon this rock’. It may refer to the apostolic authority of Peter. It may refer to the faith of Peter. It may refer to the revelation of the Messiah, the Son of God, that when he was in Sheol, the gates of hell did not prevail against him. This is what the apostle Peter said on the day of Pentecost. “God loosed him from the pains of Sheol, for it was not possible for him to be held by it”. Personally, I believe it is a combination of all three.

Yet, the apostolic authority of Peter does not seem to represent the same thing as the authority of a Bishop. Jerusalem was the primacy of the church when the apostles were alive. The apostle Peter was the apostolic authority to the church of Jerusalem, but James was the presiding bishop of the church of Jerusalem.

God’s peace


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