Does the Pope have supreme universal jurisdiction over the Eastern Churches?


Even though you refuse to say yes or no to the question, it’s pretty plain that you reject the current catechism and the ecumenism of Vatican II.

Not much doubt at this point you’re just an SSPX or Sede schismatic who yourself rejects that in Rome which you disagree with.

Because it has nothing to do with this thread. This thread is about the Pope and the Eastern Churches, not who amongst the Eastern Churches recognize each other.

And one would do well to reread the Pharisee and the Publican. You’re very good at pointing out the letter of the law for sure… “Thank you God, that I am not like other men, even these schismatics in this thread…”


Indeed. The real challenge to achieving unity is all of us setting aside our pride and realizing we can be faithful to our respective traditions while still accepting those of others. Thank you (and many others) for your kind words in this thread.


I think this is what Pope Saint John Paul II said it best when he stated, “The Church needs to learn to breathe again with its two lungs – its Eastern one and its Western one. Pope Saint John Paul II, in his effort to bring together the East and West, issued two distinct challenges. Because Eastern Catholics are a minority, they must faithfully preserve their tradition and not be tempted to “Latinize” their practices. Roman Catholics, on the other hand, should seek out some amount of liturgical and intellectual exposure to the Christian East for spiritual and cultural enrichment.

As Pope Saint John Paul knew, in the current war against secularism, both lungs are necessary in order to provide enough “oxygen” for the spiritual battle raging in today’s world. The Eastern perspective expands the arsenal of the Western Church’s theology and prayer life. So, on the one hand, breathing with both lungs reinforces the Church Militant, but it is also an invitation to broaden one’s horizon through a beautiful encounter with Christ, who is new every morning.”

The East and the West need one another, so that the Church can more effectively present the Unity Christ desires in the world. Respect for our different traditions is essential. Let us pray that our leaders can ameliorate those few things that still divide us, so that the world can know us by our love for each other.


Possibly because so many people have the same attitude you have? Focusing on what separates, rather than what unites?

These things need to be accomplished by our patriarchs, because they exist because of the actions of the patriarchs.

You do your part by educating others. We can all have a part, but most of all, we must pray for unity, and show love to our siblings, as Jesus would have us do.

What makes it go away, Steve? Implying that people will go to hell if they don’t see things the way you see them?

To me this is an ideal time for reconciliation, and for Rome to lead the way in charity. We don’t have a dog in this fight as they do. As a matter of fact, what we see in this schism is not different from how the East and West were separated. Intolerance for the perspectives of the other.


I doubt it. If it is sooooooo little that divides, and keeps us divided, what could possibly be this tiny issue that keeps us divided?

Finally I can agree. The pentarchy was an invention of the East for the purpose of neutralizing jurisdiction of the pope. ADD to that the phrase 1st among equals, also an invention of the East, and we see that the issues aren’t really soooooooo tiny.

Where is the fear of God? Where did THAT go?

Again, where is my name on any of the resources I quote? It’s not there.
Therefore the warnings don’t come from me.

point being

as Jesus warned, (NOT ME ) and it happens 24/7, 365, few are saved because people resist truth


On countless threads about countless different topics, you always seem to bring it back to how few will be saved… but it almost comes across as a rhetorical weapon.


Hwo does it serve even your purposes when you belittle the teaching of Vatican 2 that has been repeated in the Catechism?

This does not foster respect for the truth you propose. All the truth you speak is useless if people have no reason to listen.


It should scare the hell out of everyone. The reason few are saved is because most people don’t obey the one who made that statement. Too many people obviously discount or belittle or ignore the warning.


I quoted both. It’s you who are belittling

We talked about Vat II, and before Vat II was Florence we also talked about. 2 ecumenical councils, meaning they speak for the entire Church. The same message is given in both councils… AND They both recount scripture


No one claimed it was a “tiny issue”. Departure from the One Faith is the basis of heresy.

The fact that the departure occurred only over a comparatively minuscule percentage places us in doctrinal agreement with the vast majority of doctrine. Certainly, as I am sure you will agree, than either of us have with any Protestant ecclesial communities.

When I refer to attitude, I mean the relationships of the faithful to one another. If we call one another schismatics and heretics, unity is only driven further from us. Orthodox are reared to believe that Latin Catholics have departed from the One Faith. As you have noted, they (as much as we) have an obligation to investigate and explore their faith. Very few come to understand the reasons for the original separation.

Are you saying that you reject the Catechism on this issue? It seems so. I never realized, but perhaps XXI_4 is correct?

The Pentarchy is Catholic, and is simply an historical commentary on the major Sees that existed in history prior to the fall of the Roman Empire.

First Among Equals - Primus inter pares (Ancient Greek: Πρῶτος μεταξὺ ἴσων, prōtos metaxỳ ísōn) is actually a Latin phrase. It was used as an honorary title for someone who is formally equal to other members of their group but are accorded unofficial respect, traditionally owing to their seniority in office.

In the case of Peter, the Petrine gives were recognized as being peculiar to his office, but all successors of the Apostles (Bishops) have the same charge from ancient times.

The problem is that honor and “submission” is difficult or impossible to give to one who behaves in a manner contrary to the dignity of the office. The plethora of worldly minded Popes through the Middle Ages did not help to restore any esteem lost.

I think we have been richly blessed in the last 100 years by very holy men who became successors of Peter. If ever there has been a chance to unify, it will be based on the lives of these men who live in obedience to the faith.


This is another strawman, Steve. No one has claimed that the issues are “tiny”. What the Catechism teaches, and you apparently reject, is that the wealth of what we have in common with the EO far outpaces what either of us have in common with any other ecclesial communities. In addition to creating strawmen, your posts seem to be dripping with sarcasm. This is what I meant about attitude. If we, as siblings of Christ, exhibit such sarcasm when having dialogue with one another, how can this heal the wounds in the Body of Christ?

You seem to be suggesting that the EO have insufficient 'fear of God".

Whether that is the case or not, you seem to suggest that “fear of God” (which you are doing your best to put into people) should create unity in the Body. You don’t seem to have any fear of God for rejecting your siblings in Christ, so I think you are in the best position to answer this question. How is it you have no concerns about not forgiving and loving your brother before God? I think when you answer this question it will be clear. A person who believes they are right in the sight of God will not have fear of God.

Your name is on every post you have submitted. It is your conclusions, not the resources that are the issue.

No. What comes from you is attitude.


You believe that you have the fullness of Truth. Others believe that they have it. How do we get beyond this? I assure you, it will not happen by firing arrows at one another. “References” don’t transform. Only love transforms.

Sadly, this is true. Apparently “fear” is supposed to wake the reader to the truth? Jesus did not present the Gospel of Life with fear. He presented it with love, healing, and productive dialogue. He reached out to the separated and marginalized.

Jesus taught that the first two commandments were the most important. Love God, Love each other. He spent His whole ministry explaining how they were to love one another in practical ways. He did not come into the world to “scare the hell out of everyone”.

Sorry, Steve, the belittle is dripping off the posts.

Yes, but unlike your message, it is not separated from love and ecumenism.


817 "In fact, “in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church - for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame.” The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ’s Body - here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism - do not occur without human sin:

Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes. Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity , from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers. "

RE: Rifts, dissensions, and separations, that the apostle condemned,… what has changed ? It’s still condemned.

When there is no Harmony and no unity, there is no virtue according to the CCC


The catechism wrote “it lacks little…” to which you replied “If it is really sooooooooooo little.”

You do not think that multiplication of o is meant to belittle and deny what the Catechism quoted from Vatican 2?

I do not know what you think I said that belittles what is in the Catechism. Even if I wrote “If it is really sooooooooooo few that are saved” that would just belittle your message, not the Catechism. But I have not done that either. I haven’t figured out a good way to multiply o.


This is a very good example of how your interpretations/conclusions turn the text on their head. This s not what it says. And, on the contrary, great virtue can develop where there is disharmony and disunity, whether this is in a family, marriage, workplace, prison or church. Virtue is what bears the fruit of unity and harmony.

What are you doing to create unity and harmony? How are your virtues bearing these fruits? Yes, dissentions are condemned. We all have an obligation to heal the wounds to unity.

It certainly does come across that way.



sweeping schism under the rug as if it isn’t real, and many do this already, has it made things better?

No. But things have changed dramatically with the Orthodox since that passage in question was written. The Russians have gone into schism with Constantinople. They are no longer in union with those in union with Constantinople as well. It’s been estimated they are between 60 and 70% of E Orthodoxy. What’s THAT going to do with dialogue


then Card Ratzinger addressed this (approved by Pope John Paul II in the Audience of June 9, 2000. )
The whole idea of Pentarchy, and 1st among equals, started in the East. No pope ever accepted that.

"In Christian literature, the expression begins to be used in the East when, from the fifth century, the idea of the Pentarchy gained ground, according to which there are five Patriarchs at the head of the Church, with the Church of Rome having the first place among these patriarchal sister Churches. In this connection, however, it needs to be noted that no Roman Pontiff ever recognized this equalization of the sees or accepted that only a primacy of honour be accorded to the See of Rome. It should be noted too that this patriarchal structure typical of the East never developed in the West. As is well known, the divergences between Rome and Constantinople led, in later centuries, to mutual excommunications with «consequences which, as far as we can judge, went beyond what was intended and foreseen by their authors, whose censures concerned the persons mentioned and not the Churches, and who did not intend to break the ecclesial communion between the sees of Rome and Constantinople.»[1]
The expression appears again in two letters of the Metropolitan Nicetas of Nicodemia (in the year 1136) and the Patriarch John X Camaterus (in office from 1198 to 1206), in which they protested that Rome, by presenting herself as mother and teacher, would annul their authority. In their view, Rome is only the first among sisters of equal dignity.

There’s much more that can be said


Read the text (above) again.

"Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity ,


where there is no harmony and no unity, there is no virtue.

AND to the thread’s point

Where is jurisdiction among the E Orthodox? Especially considering the current schism between the Russians and Constantinople, and with all the Orthodox in union with Constantinople


Actually, Church of Antioch remained in union with Rome. Constantinople tried to put their own (greek) bishop as bishop of Antioch, but local people chose their own as was their custom. Rome supported local choice and Constantinople their choice- which made two lines of bishops of Antioch exist. This happened pre-schism. Greek Antioch and Maronite Antioch Christians both remained during Chalcedon with One Church as Maronites themselves say. Greek side became known as Melkites (ones who obeyed King) as they obeyed Emperor and decision of Chalcedon. During Crusades, crusaders came and found Maronite Christians, who got separated from Church (communicaiton-wise) by Muslims. When crusaders found them, Maronites said they are in union with Rome and professed unity of faith with Catholic Church. Therefore, Maronites (original local church) of Antioch chose Rome over Constantinople.

Meanwhile, Melkite bishop of Antioch rejected what caused Great Schism and remained in communion with both Pope and Ecumenical Patriarch. Years later, around 1800 I believe, Melkites elected their own Patriarch by their right and this Patriarch called synod to join the Pope and reject Ecumenical Patriarch. Ecumenical Patriarch in process consecrated one deacon a bishop of Antioch and made pleas to Ottoman Empire to stop Melkites from joining Catholic Church. Original Melkite Church of Antioch however joined Catholic Church and bishop elected non-canonically by Ecumenical Patriarch to keep his influence, formed Greek Church of Antioch which is Eastern Orthodox. True line of Antioch and also second, pre-schism line of Antioch as per bishops, remained in unity with Rome.

Alexandria on the other hand was who split from church at Chalcedon. Greeks of course, elected their own bishop and appointed him. As muslims however took control over territory, bishop of Alexandria became separated from Church. We have evidence that even during 14th century, Rome and Alexandria (greek) were not in schism- Latin Patriarchs appointed by crusaders did exist, but that did not mean Alexandrian Patriarch stopped commemorating Pope in liturgy nor vice-versa. Alexandrian main line of bishops however now hold union with Eastern Orthodox Church- not with Catholic Church like Antioch does.

Fun fact is, during Council of Florence and therefore until city got captured by Ottomans- Ecumenical Patriarch came to union with Catholic Church and therefore until Muslims renounced union as Catholicism was somewhat dangerous to them (Pope calling crusades vs them and so on), Constantinople was actually Catholic.

As for Jerusalem, Melkites hold the title of Patriarch of Jerusalem aswell. As Jerusalem was greek, bishop of Jerusalem joined Emperor and Ecumenical Patriarch during the Great Schism. This was fate of Pentarchy after the Great Schism. Dont let anyone fool you with “it was 4-1 schism” or similar stuff.


I believe that an important document that relates to this topic is the Ravenna Document. Some may dismiss it as not a magisterial or authoritative but there was a real breakthrough. It was the first time that the Orthodox agreed to speak about the Church at the universal level. Before there were some who denied that there could even be institutional structures at the universal level. The second point is that the commission agreed that at the universal level there is a primate. It was clear that there is only one candidate for this post, that is the bishop of Rome. This dose not mean supreme jurisdiction over all the Churches but both Churches are finding common ground. I still am amazed however that some, not all, not most but some don’t recognize this as a possible step to full communion.

One last thing. I used in the last sentence above full communion. You read any document whether by Roman Catholic/Orthodox dialogue, recent Popes or bishops they always express they wish for full communion. So they must all believe that we are at least in a partial communion with the Orthodox.



I am not sure if there is any point to trying to continue this discussion with you, since you seem to deny the teaching of the Catechism, and have therefore separated yourself from the teaching of the Church. Focusing on the schismatic state of others in order to avoid your own does not solve anything either.

It is possible to love your siblings in Christ with brotherly affection, despite the unresolved issues that still exist. You do not seem to believe you are called to this kind of charity.

I have come to realize that you are a very black and white kind of thinker, so for you, swatting people with what you perceive are their sins, or “sweeping it under the rug” are the only options you can see for yourself.

No, in answer to your question, I don’t think either of these positions is helpful or will make things better. Only love transforms.

Very good things, I hope and trust. But that seems irrelevant to you, as it does not appear that you are seeking any dialogue, only blame. It appears that, unless everyone converts to your way of seeing the matter, we will all die in our sins, destined for hell.

You are applying a reverse causation that is based on a false premise. No matter - trying to apply logic to your reasoning here will most likely not be productive, and is a useless rabbit trail. There are far too may scriptures and writings of saints that affirm the fact that persecution is the seed of the Church, and that it is possible and preferential for a person to develop virtue in the midst of disharmony.

Honestly, I have seen very little discussion directly related to the topic, and none in this thread on the question you pose here. The EO are taught the concept of sui juris churches. I do agree with the point that one of the strengths of the EO has been their communion among each other, which has now been compromised.

The Popes’ role of universal jurisdiction does negate that the Eastern Churches have within themselves. That was never the claim of Rome.

To all others on this thread who yearn for unity, I say let us pray that this division among the EO will be an opportunity for reconciliation between East and West, and that both lungs of the Church might breathe together, as we need one another.

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