Papal Supremacy - Am I wrong


#1

Am I wrong to believe that the Pope should not have complete jurisdictional authority in a unified One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church ?

Should the East and West unite, am I wrong to think that Pope should not have total authority of the entire Church ?

He will be given the “Primus inter Pares” honorary title back but essentially will be equal to all other Patriarchs

Brad


#2

…to him are given the keys to the kingdom of heaven, i interpret that as… He’s the man… He’s in charge, He’s the big Cahunna… He’s the CEO…

…simplystic i know, but that’s how i see it…

peace:thumbsup:


#3

The Pope does have authority over the whole Church. While there are Eastern and Latin rites of the Catholic Church, your confusion might arise over “Easterns” such as the Eastern Orthodox who are not in communion with the Church, yet nevertheless hold similar beliefs to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

Petrine “Primacy of Honor Only” theory among Eastern Orthodox Christians is very puzzling. In the passages where Jesus confers primacy and special authority to Peter, those outside the Church somehow see this as meaningless and superflous, since “Primacy of Honor” has no practical effect in their eyes.


#4

The church of Rome has insisted that all ecclesiastical authority in every station throughout the church derive from the authority of the Papacy.

Universal Jurisdiction.

However, I agree with you, I think that it is a mistake to assume that the authority of the other Patriarchal churches derives from Rome, it cannot be demonstrated historically.

Further, I think that there are a lot of Catholics who agree with you, but they are stuck with the pronouncements of Vatican I.

This is a major point of contention, and until it is resolved there will be no intercommunion between the Orthodox churches and the church of Rome.


#5

[quote=DeFide]The Pope does have authority over the whole Church. While there are Eastern and Latin rites of the Catholic Church, your confusion might arise over “Easterns” such as the Eastern Orthodox who are not in communion with the Church, yet nevertheless hold similar beliefs to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

Petrine “Primacy of Honor Only” theory among Eastern Orthodox Christians is very puzzling. In the passages where Jesus confers primacy and special authority to Peter, those outside the Church somehow see this as meaningless and superflous, since “Primacy of Honor” has no practical effect in their eyes.
[/quote]

…of course he does, it was given him by Christ… can’t help it because some don’t choose to recognize his authority… doesn’t mean it’s (authority) not there…IMHO


#6

[quote=Hesychios] The church of Rome has insisted that all ecclesiastical authority in every station throughout the church derive from the authority of the Papacy.
[/quote]

So you and other Orthodox keep telling us. I have yet to hear this silly allegation cited from an authoritative Catholic source. If even half of what you believe about the Papacy were true, Catholics would hate it too.

[quote=Hesychios] However, I agree with you, I think that it is a mistake to assume that the authority of the other Patriarchal churches derives from Rome, it cannot be demonstrated historically.
[/quote]

Straw man! It can’t be demonstrated that the Patriarch of Moscow is Elvis either. So what?

[quote=Hesychios] Further, I think that there are a lot of Catholics who agree with you, but they are stuck with the pronouncements of Vatican I.
[/quote]

Maybe you should read everything the Council had to say about the Papacy, along with the debates surrounding the canons that were approved, rather than the selective and out of context quotes that have obviously coloured your judgement of it.

[quote=Hesychios] This is a major point of contention, and until it is resolved there will be no intercommunion between the Orthodox churches and the church of Rome.
[/quote]

There are Papal claims that are genuine points of contention. The ludicrous suggestion that all ecclesiastical authority flows from the Pope isn’t one of them.

Irencist


#7

[quote=Intrigued Latin] Am I wrong to believe that the Pope should not have complete jurisdictional authority in a unified One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church ?
[/quote]

What do you mean by “complete jurisdicitonal authority”?

[quote=Intrigued Latin] Should the East and West unite, am I wrong to think that Pope should not have total authority of the entire Church ?
[/quote]

He does not have “total authority of the entire Church” now, even among Catholics, so why should he have it in a reunited Church?

[quote=Intrigued Latin] He will be given the “Primus inter Pares” honorary title back but essentially will be equal to all other Patriarchs
[/quote]

He never had this title. It’s an anchronistic Eastern Orthodox invention. There is a rather substantial half way house between “total authority of the entire Church” and “Primus inter Pares”.

Irenicist


#8

[quote=Intrigued Latin]Am I wrong to believe that the Pope should not have complete jurisdictional authority in a unified One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church ?

Should the East and West unite, am I wrong to think that Pope should not have total authority of the entire Church ?

[/quote]

It would seem that the Pope disagrees with you :smiley:

Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the church throughout the world.
. . .

So, then, if anyone says that the Roman pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema.
piar.hu/councils/ecum20.htm#Chapter%203.%20On%20the%20power%20and%20character%20of%20the%20primacy%20of%20the%20Roman%20pontiff


The Jesus Prayer in Irish:
A Thiarna Iosa Chriost, Mac De, dean trocaire orm-se peacach


#9

[quote=Fr Ambrose]It would seem that the Pope disagrees with you :smiley:
Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the church throughout the world.
. . .

So, then, if anyone says that the Roman pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema.
[/quote]

If I may take the liberty of repeating myself: “Maybe you should read everything the Council had to say about the Papacy, along with the debates surrounding the canons that were approved, rather than the selective and out of context quotes that have obviously coloured your judgement of it.”

The Council is referring to the theological basis for the Pope’s authority to exercise immediate and superior jurisdiction over any part of the Church at need. This is essentially a technical definition of the power of the keys. This theological basis is indeed something that divides Catholics and Orthodox, but it is not a description of how Papal authority is used** in practice or is set out in canon law** either now or in the past, nor is it the charter for Papal tyranny you seem to feel it is.

All strictly episcopal acts have a fundamentally sacramental character, and for the Pope to exercise them licitly outside his own diocese, even against the will of a heretical or even criminal episcopal rebel, requires a theological basis even when it is explicitly provided for in canon law, and this is what Vatican I set out. In fact, it begs the question: what exactly is the theological basis for an Eastern Holy Synod exercising similar authority licitly against a guilty bishop? Eastern Orthodox will point to disciplinary canons, but I haven’t heard a theological explanation of how they square these canons with the sufficiency and equality of every local church as represented by its bishop.

Irenicist


#10

[quote=Irenicist]If I may take the liberty of repeating myself: “Maybe you should read everything the Council had to say about the Papacy, along with the debates surrounding the canons that were approved, rather than the selective and out of context quotes that have obviously coloured your judgement of it.”

The Council is referring to the theological basis for the Pope’s authority to exercise immediate and superior jurisdiction over any part of the Church at need.
[/quote]

Since you have obviously been able to read more of what the Council had to say than I have, please supply the Canon/s which restrict the Pope’s authority to exercise immediate and superior jurisdication to situations of need. If you are correct and the exercise of his authority is restricted to occasions of need under what circumstances does the Council allow him to exercise that authority?

Where may I find the references to these qualifications/restrictions in the conciliar documents?


#11

[quote=Fr Ambrose]Since you have obviously been able to read more of what the Council had to say than I have, please supply the Canon/s which restrict the Pope’s authority to exercise immediate and superior jurisdication to situations of need. If you are correct and the exercise of his authority is restricted to occasions of need under what circumstances does the Council allow him to exercise that authority?

Where may I find the references to these qualifications/restrictions in the conciliar documents?
[/quote]

The principle is implied, Father. The US constitution vests ultimate judicial authority in the Supreme Court, yet doesn’t have to specify that the courts actions should rest on need and not the arbitrary will of its members.

Catholics see a clear distinction between doctrine and canon law. The two are obviously related in the sense that the latter depends on the former, but they are nonetheless different. A secular constitution rests on the principles of popular sovereignty, but is articulated in practice by laws. Similarly the Church’s ecclesial constitution rests on doctrine and is articulated through canon law. If you wish to understand how the Papacy works in practice, read canon law. All Vatican I does is spell out the space within which specific provisions of canon law can operate.

Vatican I represent an (incomplete) effort to spell out the doctrinal basis for the Church’s ecclesiology. It was incomplete in that the Council rose before completing its agenda which was taken up again by Vatican II at which it was made reasonably clear (and incidentally puting the kabosh to ultramontane theology) that the episcopate existed and operated alongside primacy de jure by divine institution and was thus not dependent on primacy.

I personally see some utility in a further definition more clearly setting out the doctrinal relationship between primacy, episcopacy and collegiality (by analogy with Peter, the individual Apostles, and the 12 together), but traditional Church teaching on this question is already reasonably clear, and such a definiton can probably wait for the Council that would formalize any eventual reunion.

I know this won’t satisfy you because current (mainstream) Orthodox ecclesiology rules out the idea that there is or can be a theological basis for a Primate exercizing such wide ranging authority even if merely in theory and in cases of objective need (except possibly by way of delegation by the bishops). This is a genuine point of disagreement between our Churches, and the Catholic argument rests fundamentally on the Catholic reading of Tradition and the Petrine texts. This is a difficult issue that cannot be sidestepped in any reunion.

But Othodoxy explictly recognized the rights of Holy Synods and Ecumenical Councils to “supreme authority” over the “whole Church” or the autocephallous Churches, so obviously the problem does not lie in the theoretical nature of the authority in question. If it is not tyrannical for the majority at a Synod to have supreme authority over a minority, why is it necessarily tyrannical for the Primate to have supreme authority with respect to the Church.

My problem here is that, absent the primacy and the Petrine mandate attested in scripture, I can’t see what the doctrinal basis for such supreme synodical authority in the Eastern Orthodox Church might be.

So in brief, if you wish to find the restrictions on the Pope’s practical authority and a description of how the Church actually works in practice (as opposed to how it might work exceptionally in all imaginable circumstances), read the Code of Canon Law. Pope’s can change canon law, but when they do so unwisely the result is often schism, again demonstrating the practical limitations and constraints within which they are forced to operate.

Catholic bishops still form a genuine episcopate and have not been constituted into a corps of apostolic vicars. They fully enjoy their offices by divine right, as does the Pope. He is, after all, one of them.

Irenicist


#12

[quote=Irenicist]The principle is implied, Father.
[/quote]

I don’t think that is an acceptable reponse nor an accurate one. You know better than I that such documents from Rome and especially at this period are very carefully balanced and very carefully worded. There is no implication of principle. If it is not spelled out then it is simply not there.

Those who wish to offer an interpretation of the conciliar decrees and to retrict the Pope’s authority, as you do, to times of need actually seem to fall under the anathema attached to the conciliar document…
Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the church throughout the world.
. . .

So, then, if anyone says that the Roman pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema.

piar.hu/councils/ecum20.htm#Chapter%203.%20On%20the%20power%20and%20character%20of%20the%20primacy%20of%20the%20Roman%20pontiff


#13

[quote=Fr Ambrose]I don’t think that is an acceptable reponse nor an accurate one. You know better than I that such documents from Rome and especially at this period are very carefully balanced and very carefully worded. There is no implication of principle. If it is not spelled out then it is simply not there.

Those who wish to offer an interpretation of the conciliar decrees and to retrict the Pope’s authority, as you do, to times of need actually seem to fall under the anathema attached to the conciliar document…Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the church throughout the world.
. . .

So, then, if anyone says that the Roman pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be
[/quote]

You can keep selectively quoting these canons out of context and without apparently understanding their imports all you want.
I have no worries on this count. I can subscribe to every word as written.

Here is the explanation of these terms which Mgr Zinelli read out to the Council Fathers in the name of the Deputation of the Faith which served as drafting commitee.

Ordinary: “All jurists and doctors in canon law describe as ordinary that power which comes to someone by virtue of his office, and as delegated that which comes not from his office but which is exercised in the name of another to whom it is ordinary. The Deputation of the Faith believes that with this explanation the difference is narrow. For does not the sovereign pontiff possess by virtue of his office that power which is attributed to him? If it is by virtue of his office, it is an ordinary power.”

Immediate: “How is an immediate power to be distinguished from a mediate one? That power is called immediate which may be exercised without passing through an intermediary. But is not the pope able by himself to perform episcopal acts in every diocese, without passing through the mediation of the local bishop? Should he rather get the bishop’s permission to confirm, for example, or to hear confessions? Each time a demand was heard for the pope to obtain such authorization, the Assembly burst into laughter.”

As for the reference to “need” you were looking for, we can quote Zinelli’s further, keeping in mind that he was offering the public explanation or gloss to the meaning of the canons the Fathers would subsequently be voting on:

“There is no reason to fear that in the government of particular churches confusion will result from the fact that this ordinary, immediate power runs alongside the proper power of the bishop in this or that diocese. Confusion would arise if it was a matter of two equal concurrent jurisdictions, but not if one is subordinate to the other. It would certainly be the case that if the sovereign pontiff availed himself of his right to perform all episcopal acts in every diocese every day, and with no regard to the bishop, riding roughshod over what ought to have been wisely decided, he would be using his power non ad aedificationem sed in destructionem (“not for the good of the Church but for its destruction”), and confusion of spiritual leadership would certainly follow. But who could imagine such an absurd possibility? let us all consider the matter calmly. Let us, with confidence in the moderation of the Holy See, be assured that this authority will work for the upholding of episcopal power, not for its weakening.”

Relating to the “supreme” nature of papal power, Zinelli described “supreme” as meaning that it could not be constrained by any superior human power, yet insisted that it remained in effect limited by both natural and divine law. On this basis he rejected the notion that it could be used to destroy or arbitrarily supplant episcopal authority as “vain and futile… and hard to be taken seriously” since the episcopate existed by divine right.

(cont.)

Irenicist


#14

(cont.)

But we need not limit ourselves to Mgr Zinelli in interpretting the canons of Vatican I (despite his essential role in drafting them). As part of his Kulturkampf against the Church, Bismark chose to characterize the canons in 1872 as follows in a circular telegram many read as a programme for a state-run German Catholic Church:

"This telegram claims that the decisions of the Vatican Council have the following consequences:

"1. The pope may assume episcopal rights in every diocese and substitute his own episcopal power.

"2. Episcopal jurisidiction is absorbed in papal jurisdiciton.

"3. The pope no longer exercises certain reserved, limited rights as in the past, but he is the repository of full and entire episcopal power.

"4. The pope in general replaces each bishop individually.

"5. The pope at his own discretion entirely may at any time take over the bishop’s place in dealings with the government.

"6. The bishops are no more than instruments of the pope, his agents with no responsibility of their own.

“7. Bishops in relation to governments have become in fact the agents of a foreign sovereign, of a soveriegn, indeed, who through his infallibility is more perfectly absolute than any absolute monarch in the world.”

The German bishops indignantly responded as follows.

"No doubt the decisions of the Council mean that the Pope’s power of ecclesiastical jurisdicition is *potestas suprema, ordinaria et immediata, *a supreme power of government given to the pope by Jesus Christ the Son of God, in the person of St Peter, a power which extends directly over the whole Church and so over each diocese and over all the faithful, in order to preserve unity of faith, discipline and government in the Church, and is in no way a mere attribution of certain reserved rights.

"But this is not at all a new doctrine. It is a truth recognized in the Catholic faith and a principle known in canon law, a doctrine recently explained and confirmed by the Vatican Council, in agreement with the findings of earlier ecumenical councils, against the errors of Gallicans, Jansenists and Febronians. According to this teaching of the Catholic Church, the pope is bishop of Rome but not bishop of another diocese or another town; he is not the bishop of Breslau nor bishop of Cologne, etc. But as bishop of Rome he is at the same time pope, that is, the pastor and supreme head of the universal Church, head of all the bishops and faithful, and his papal power should be respected and listened to everywhere and always, not only in particular and exceptional cases. In this position the pope has to watch over each bishop in the fulfilment of the whole range of his episcopal charge. If a bishop is prevented, or if some need has made itself felt, the pope has the right and duty, in his capacity as pope and not as bishop of the diocese, to order whatever is necessary for the adminsitration of the diocese…

"The decisions of the Vatican Council do not offer the shadow of pretext to claim that the pope has by them become an absolute sovereign and, in virtue of his infallibility, a sovereign more perfectly absolute than any absolute monarch in the world…

“In the exercise of papal power, therefore, absolutely nothing has changed. It follows that that the opinion that the pope’s position in relation to the episcopate has been changed by the Vatican Council is completely without foundation.”

(cont.)

Irenicist


#15

(cont.)

Now I suppose one could argue that the German bishops **would **say that under the pressure so put on them by the German government. But how then would we account for Pius IX’s response to their response?

"Venerable Broterhs, greetings and apostolic blessing.

"The admirable firmness of soul which in the fight for the defence of truth, of justice and the rights of the Church, fears neither the wrath of the powerful, nor their threats, nor the loss of goods, nor even exile, prison and death, and which has been the glory of Christ in centuries past, has ever since remained her special character and the evident proof that in this Church alone may be found that true and noble liberty whose name is heard everywhere today, but which in truth is to be met nowhere else.

"You have again upheld the glory of the Church, venerable Brothers, when you undertook to expound the true meaning of the decrees of the Vatican Council so artificially distorted in a circular which has been made public, and thus prevented the faithful from developing wrong ideas and ensuring that an odious falsification should not provide an opportunity for preventing the free choice of a new pontiff.

"Your corporate declaration is marked by clarity and exactness so that it leaves nothing to be desired, that it has been a great source of joy to us and that there is no need for us to add anything to it. But the lies asserted in some periodicals require of us a more solemn testimonial of our approval for, in order to maintain the assertions in the said circular which you have refuted, they have had the impudence to refuse to accept your explanations, on the pretext that your interpretation of the conciliar decrees is only a weakened interpretation in no way corresponding to the intentions of the apostolic See.

“We condemn in the most formal manner this lying and slanderous supposition. Your declaration gives the pure Catholic doctrine, and therefore that of the Holy Council and the Holy See, perfectly grounded and clearly developed by evident and irrefutable arguements in such a way as to demonstrate to every man of good faith that, in the decrees under attack, there is absolutely nothing which is new or which changes anything in the relations which have existed until now, or which could provide a pretext for further oppression of the Church or for hindering the election of a new pontiff.”

So it would seem that if I am anthema, I am in good company with Zinelli, the German bishops and St Pius IX, all of whom were present at the Council.

Irenicist


#16

[quote=space ghost]…to him are given the keys to the kingdom of heaven, i interpret that as… He’s the man… He’s in charge, He’s the big Cahunna… He’s the CEO…

…simplystic i know, but that’s how i see it…

peace:thumbsup:
[/quote]

Nothing beats simplicity :thumbsup:


#17

Golly, Steve here,

Does or should the pope have jurisdiction over the Eastern Church on matters of discipline , practice , liturgy. I would say no. This should be left to the bishops of each church. Perhaps this is what the EO are waiting for .

A true collegial spirit where the Latins leave them alone?

Maybe an answer to the infallibility issue would be after all the bishops of the world have met and agreed on something , a final stamp of approval from the Roman Pontiff.

I am new at this and not a good apologist like Fr. or Iren.

What do you folks think?

That cute chick just won america idol !!!1111


#18

[quote=Steve Green] Golly, Steve here,

Does or should the pope have jurisdiction over the Eastern Church on matters of discipline , practice , liturgy. I would say no. This should be left to the bishops of each church. Perhaps this is what the EO are waiting for.

A true collegial spirit where the Latins leave them alone?

[/quote]

I suspect what you** mean **to say would be acceptable to Rome, but issues can’t be sliced up that neatly. Rome shouldn’t be able to set rules for discipline, practice or liturgy in the East, but as the last “court of appeal” it would have some role in enforcing the rules the East would have already set for itself, ensuring that they remain in conformity with orthodoxy and are not abused.

[quote=Steve Green] Maybe an answer to the infallibility issue would be after all the bishops of the world have met and agreed on something , a final stamp of approval from the Roman Pontiff.

I am new at this and not a good apologist like Fr. or Iren.

What do you folks think?
[/quote]

What you are describing is an ecumenical council, and we already know they are infallible. I could live with a formula that described the Pope as infallible in matters of faith and morals when he is speaking for the majority of the bishops and leave it at that without specifying how this majority would be ascertained. This would put the burden of proof on those claiming he was not speaking for the bishops in any particular instance. But that’s just me.

And btw, I can’t speak for Fr. Ambrose, but I am not a good apologist as I can too easily be baited into diatribes. I’m working on it, though. :slight_smile:

Irenicist


#19

[quote=Irenicist]I suspect what you** mean **to say would be acceptable to Rome, but issues can’t be sliced up that neatly. Rome shouldn’t be able to set rules for discipline, practice or liturgy in the East, but as the last “court of appeal” it would have some role in enforcing the rules the East would have already set for itself, ensuring that they remain in conformity with orthodoxy and are not abused.
Irenicist
[/quote]

That is not borne out by History. Please take a look at the Robber Council. Does the Pope act only as the last court of Appeal here or did the Pope act with the authority of jurisdiction accorded to him.


#20

[quote=Aris]That is not borne out by History. Please take a look at the Robber Council. Does the Pope act only as the last court of Appeal here or did the Pope act with the authority of jurisdiction accorded to him.
[/quote]

Both, I would say. Why do you feel a need to distinguish between the two?

He acts as the last court of appeal thanks to the authority of jurisdiction accorded to him. The full breadth of this jurisdiction, however, doesn’t have to be exercised constantly and everywhere, and both Vatican I and II make it clear it shouldn’t be exercised when it isn’t objectively necessary for the good of the Church. Those who might feel that it is necessary for the Pope to personally pen all canon law for the Eastern Churches are living in a rather unreal ultramontane fantasy land. It is sufficient that he ensure that canon law in the East conform to Tradition and the deposit of the faith, and that it be applied fairly.

Irenicist


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