Response to this Orthodox christian


The word catholic and the word orthodox have been around for a very long time… 1st century as you say…

However the word catholic and orthodox were used as a descriptive terms… catholic meaning found everywhere (common) and orthodox meaning correct belief and practice.

There has always been a Pope… for as long as there has been a Roman Church… no one would argue that…

The Pope is the Bishop of the Roman Church… which used to be orthodox, he never had authority over the other sees… Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria and Constantinople.

This only started to happed after the Roman Church was left without a government to manage the people and became the defacto leadership. The Roman government had fallen apart.

The Roman Church was forced into a position of authority for the good of the people. But that authority was soon abused by the Frankish Kings… such as Charlemagne who was the first King ever crowned by the Roman Church…

If you look at all the Ecumenical Councils including the council in ACTS 15, you will see that they were always governed by one Bishop acting as the head of council… but when it came time to vote… they were equals…

If you notice the council in ACTS 15 is led by James not Peter. Peter himself never exercised authority over anyones elses sees.

Councils of Bishops, acting as equals, led by the Holy Spirit and ratified by the whole Church body… This is how a council becomes Ecumenical. It takes decades after the council for it to be ratified.

Saying that there is a Pope and that he is first among equals is far different than Papal supremacy.

The word Pope is just the Latin word for Father… any Bishop could rightly be called so.

Peter was Patriarch of Antioch before leaving for Rome to help establish the Church there… but he did not continue to exercise authority over Antioch after a new Patriarch was appointed.

Therefore the Pope of Rome has no claim to be the head of the Christian Church


Catholic Answers has some tracts that might help. Start with “Authority of the Pope” I and II. There are quotes from many Church fathers, east and west.

Let me know how it comes out.


Hi, hoser,

I believe a more accurate translation of catholic is
univeral, not common.
Just a thought,


[font=Times New Roman][size=3]There has always been a Pope… for as long as there has been a Roman Church… no one would argue that…

The title “pope” has not exclusively been used for the Bishop of Rome, nor has the Bishop of Rome always had the title pope. The Orthodox would argue that for several centuries there were Roman “popes” who were “Orthodox” and who did not claim universal authority. Today you can still find a Coptic “Pope.”

[font=Times New Roman][size=3]Therefore the Pope of Rome has no claim to be the head of the Christian Church


From what I understand, according to the Orthodox, the Pope of Rome can be the head of the Christian Church, so long as he maintains the faith of Peter and abstains from declaring authority over other bishops. The Pope of Rome is a successor of Peter conditional upon his Orthodox faith. Indeed, according to the Orthodox, any Orthodox bishop is a successor of Peter if he continues to accept and maintain the faith expressed through Peter. The Orthodox believe that the Bishop of Rome has a right (through ecumenical councils and the consensus of the Church) to a “primacy” in the Church, but he has by no means an authority over other bishops, much less the Church as a whole.

So, the Pope according to the Orthodox, has no claim to be the authoratative head of the Catholic Church, but he does have a claim (through Church councils and consensus) to be an honorary primacy. [/font]

At least that’s my only recent understanding from the essays I have read in The Primacy of Peter. Perhaps an Orthodox Christian can explain it better.



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