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


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.


The actually legitimate claimants to those seee with the majority of adherents did leave. The Greek lines set up to counter the OO we’re rival lines but not legitimate claimants to those thrones. There were just as legitimate as the latin patriarchs of the same eastern sees or if the EO set up an EO bishop of Rome.

Alexandria of the Greek church has a small flock. Only Antioch has a sizeable influence.

That’s great. But it seems you are mistaken about who the legitimate claimants to those sees are.


[quote=“guanophore, post:331, topic:521602, full:true”]

On the contrary I quote the CCC and other Church docs and solid Catholic references, copiously in my posts to support a point. Your attack of me and my quotes , only shows your disdain tor the message those sources deliver. Is something in them hitting a sore spot with you. Is THAT what this is all about?

supreme and universal Jurisdiction, and Eastern Churches, most certainly have been in discussion on my part. You obviously don’t like the quotes I used. Therefore something about those quotes is touching you in some way.


It’s an ongoing dialogue from Ravenna, 13 October 2007

As of 11 yrs later, Nov 2018, the Russian Orthodox are now in schism with Constantinople and all those in union with Constantinople. They ( the Russian Orthodox)make up a majority of Orthodoxy. Jurisdiction / authority has always been an issue with the Orthodox.

Going back to 2002, Cardinal Kasper, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity said

“We are increasingly conscious of the fact that an Orthodox Church does not really exist,” he contends. “At the present stage, it does not seem that Constantinople is yet capable of integrating the different autocephalous Orthodox Churches; there are doubts about its primacy of honor, especially in Moscow.” from Zenit, Kasper, 2002

And looking ahead 16 yrs, from that statement, look what happened Re: the Russians.

It’s an ongoing “dialogue”. Made more difficult by this latest episode with the Russians


I never said it was anything more than a dialogue. Even so, it is fruitful. Curious why you see this as such a negative thing? At least that’s your tone.



pretty much over everything now.

Spent the day pulling 6 mil plastic over my hothouse and clamping it on with a pneumatic stapler and furring strips.

Wow, and now it’s a couple of days later. Finished last night–and my heater was bad, so I had to rush out for another.

We’ll see if the tomatoes survive the week . .


pretty much over everything now.

Spent the day pulling 6 mil plastic over my hothouse and clamping it on with a pneumatic stapler and furring strips.


This can be easily done by a sedavacantist. Quoting Church teachings does not mean you agree with them, or are willing to act in accordance with them.

I am not attacking you Steve, I am trying to give you some feedback, about which you seem to be quite incalcitrant. I have not taken issue with any of your references only the conclusions you have drawn from them.

I have no doubt that it seems that way to you. You do not see any difference between your sources, and your conclusions. Anyone who has concerns about your interpretation of the documents is judged to have “disdain”. I was a fundamentalist before I was a revert, and I can see that you have a fundamentalist mentality about your position. Anyone who does not agree with your position is not against your perceptions, but against God.

I address bigotry where ever I find it. It is nothing personal.

I understand that you cannot see a difference between your sources, and your conclusions. This is a function of a fundamentalist mind.

I think this is one of the best arguments, and works much better than disparaging the faith of those who are not yet in union with the successor of Peter.

You will note that Cardinal Kasper describes them as valid Churches. This is because they have valid Bishops (apostolic succession) and thus valid Holy Orders, and Sacraments.

These seems quite pessimistic on your part. The other Eastern Churches that reunited with Rome did so under similar circumstances. Why not hope and pray that this is an opportunity for unity?


Yes, it is this tone to which I am responding.


Not negative. Just an ongoing dialogue that has real challenges.


You disagree with my sources. My quotes. THAT’s what this is about.


I agree, an ongoing dialogue with challenges, but coming to an understanding of the first millennium Church. From what I understand the next talks will be on what has happened, both Catholic and Orthodox, during the second millennium.



I think it is important for you to believe that, so that you can discount the feedback on your style/attitude.

I actually posted these comments as much for others reading the thread, so that they will know that your attitude only comprises a very small percentage of Catholics, and that there are other ways to understand and appreciate what the Church is teaching.

That being said, I think I will link to some of your posts as examples as well as references because they are very pointed and comprehensive. I was just reading on another thread that “heterodoxy” is ok, and I think some of your sources will be a good response to that!

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