What exactly is "Primacy of Honor" and What does it accomplish?


In the various threads here and in the EO threads many posters write that Peter [and his successors] have a “Primacy of Honor” but not of “authority” and various other phrases…

So to what purpose of a “Primacy of Honor” ?

It obviously means nothing as far as unifying the church, or protecting the church against the “gates of hades”…

Why was the Roman See afforded this special honor and not the other locations where Peter was [at least the special mentions]?

Why would Jesus create a honorary, non legitimate figure head position?

If this was not what Jesus created, why would the early church leaders feel the need to create an in name only, toothless, honorary titled position?

What is the purpose of this “Primacy of Honor but oof no real authority” leader of the christian church?

For example: the position of Deaacon was to minister and serve the church caring for widows and orphans so the bishops could preach the good news without the distraction of this other pressing need. The Bishops created the office and delegated the work…


How is this relanguaging justified? Where does this terminology originate?


I am just trying to understand what is meant by a Primacy of Honor?

What is the purpose of this “honor” in the life of the church?

I am just trying to understand what the function of the See of Peter [the Roman See] was [is]…and why this honorfor Rome and not the other Petrine Sees?

If Jesus [or the early church] gave a primacy of honor to Peter, which was passed on to his successors…why, what for, to what purpose?


As far as I can gather, it is a call for Rome to become the equivalent of the Patriarch of Constantinople - his name would be placed at the top of the dyptychs, but that is about it.


As far as I can gather, it is a call for Rome to become the equivalent of the Patriarch of Constantinople - his name would be placed at the top of the dyptychs, but that is about it.

So a ‘primacy’ of honor means nothing…

So when the ECF write an make appeals to the Chair of Peter or write that Peter has spoken, of any other Petrine reference it is an appeal to …?

In that case it means nothing more than writing about the rules of baseball and invoking the name of the person who had the ‘honor’ of throwing out the first pitch…

that person’s pitch in no way impacts the game nor the rules by which it is played…an observer can be amazed at how good the pitch is…or amused by how bad…the pitch may cause a chuckle but if you arrive late and miss it…it does not matter!


That is what I gather when I read some posters there calling for a “return to primacy of honor” as (their view) of historical Orthodoxy defines it. Of course if it were that simple or that easy to accomplish consensus, well we might all have come to an agreement already!

But for the most part, when I read “Primacy of Honor” I tend to see arguments for an Archbishop of Canterbury or Patriarch of Constantinople type of role.


I have mentioned this before as well, the title and concept really means nothing.

If you want a humiliating (and unbiblical) image for Christendom in front of the whole world picture the “Primacy of Honor” or “First Among Equals” to be “out voted” 3-2 at a Council.

In effect you are calling the “Primacy of Honor” a heretic yet allowing him that title, it is as absurd as the SSPX who is run by excommunicated bishops yet they openly proclaim fidelity to the Pope. :o


Or look to the recent developments of the Anglican Communion, and how well equipped CofE Abp. Rowan Atkinson - as the primate of honor - has been to watch everything go to hell in a handbasket.


If you’re asking for an EO take on this, then you might want to have this thread on the Eastern Christian threads.


So a democracy would be evil? Wow, this thread really would be interesting - but on the Eastern Christian threads!


But this subject matter is not exclusively Eastern.


If you think nothing of having honour! :smiley:




Former Anglican Bishop of London Graham Leonard crossed the Tiber in 1994.

Some, even in the Catholic Church, request that the primacy of the Pope cease to be jurisdictional and become only an honorary primacy. What do you think?

What is essential about the Petrine primacy is not the honour but the jurisdiction. This is so because it is about defending the truth, the rights of the truth. The primacy of the Pope is essential for the Church because it is of divine institution. It is also essential to achieve real unity among the Churches.

Do you think concessions should be made in the ecumenical dialogue to attain unity more easily?

I don’t think we should speak of concessions. Truth is not discovered through negotiations, but in obedience.

Did you perceive this sliding into subjectivism, into relativism, in the last years, or did you realise that it was at the root of the birth of the Anglican Church?

In fact, it has always been like this since the 16th-century Reformation. In that period, when the Anglican Church was born, faith was expressed as an attempt to respond to the political situation created by Henry VIII. Professor [Sir Maurice] Powicke said it clearly this way: “What can be definitely said about the Reformation in England is that it was an act of state.”

The Church in England found itself at the mercy of, and having to be subjected to, the political objectives of the Tudor monarchy. To do so, it ceased to be the Catholic Church in England and became the Church of England.

Did this kind of process happen often?
In fact, this process of adaptation of the faith to the needs of the moment has been repeated since then. For many years, the doctrinal content of the faith depended on the interpretation of the formulations made by jurists.

In recent years it has depended on the General Synod. According to the Lambeth Conference - a sort of synod of all the Anglican Churches worldwide - each church in every country is free to determine how the faith should be understood. When I realised all this, I also understood that I could no longer exercise my priestly ministry in these conditions. link


Here’s something on the Orthodox notion of primacy of honour.


Democracy is not how God works, He runs a Kingdom and His Church takes on the same model.

It shouldnt be hard to conclude that Majority is not equivalent to Truth.


Are you saying then the Pope’s more like a dictator?:thumbsup:


Could you possibly be more substantial or are you pleased with yourself to offer abusive or venomous language used to express blame or censure or bitter deep-seated ill will?

Crusades, Inquisition, Jews

Especially when much of the reason why the Bishop of Rome was accorded “primacy of honor” according to the Orthodox is that the majority tended to fall into heresy, particularly in the East.

Rome’s track record on heresy was far, far better than the other sees, which we Catholics propose is because the Bishop of Rome has the benefit of infallibility and the others do not.

There is also a fundamental misunderstanding of how the Catholic Church works at play here. The Pope is not an autocrat, no matter how much anti-Catholic propagandists would have him be so. The whole reason we have “bad bishops” to complain about is that bishops have great authority within their own dioceses. The Pope fortunately helps to keep whole dioceses from falling into apostasy.


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