What would happen if two Eastern Orthodox bishops contradict?

Since all bishops are infallible, wouldn’t that create a problem?
Also, Why is the successor of Saint Andrew the ‘first among equals’ instead of the successor of Saint Peter?

Since all bishops are infallible, wouldn’t that create a problem?

IIRC the EOs don’t believe bishops are infallible.

Also, Why is the successor of Saint Andrew the ‘first among equals’ instead of the successor of Saint Peter?

All bishops are successors of St. Peter.

I copied this off the website of the Order of St Andrew

The Ecumenical Patriarchate traces its origin to the first called Apostle of Jesus Christ, St. Andrew, who was the brother of St. Peter. Ecumenical Patriarch BARTHOLOMEW is the 269th successor of St. Andrew and the First Among Equals (Primus Inter Pares) of all Orthodox Patriarchs and Pope BENEDICT XVI, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, is the 265th successor of St. Peter.

You will see that it says that he is the First Among Equals among the Orthodox (and they actually mean just Eastern Orthodox, not the Oriental Orthodox.

Bishops are not infallible. Not in the Catholic Church and not in the Orthodox Church.

When Orthodox Bishops disagree, (which they do) they attempt to work it out, but they can can’t call an Ecumenical Council because they are not in communion with the Seat of Peter.

So they have synods to attempt to solve the issues, but it doesn’t always work. I think that’s one of the reasons they have different Churches per country. Because they don’t have one voice to end disagreements.

Hope this helps.

God Bless

That is an interesting opinion, but multiple councils have been called since the schism which either claimed to be ecumenical or which are regarded as having been ecumenical, notably, the Hesychast synods (which are sometimes collectively called the ninth ecumenical council), as well as the synod held in Constantinople, in the year 1484, which styled itself ecumenical. That they are not yet commonly enumerated as being ecumenical is not in itself problematic, as the many synods of the Lateran and the councils of Lyons were similarly not enumerated as ecumenical for centuries by Latin canonists. Councils which are styled as “pan-Orthodox” were also able to settle authoritatively ecclesiastical disputes, such as the Council of Jerusalem of 1672, which was called to condemn the confession of Cyril Lukaris.

From what I understand, the Patriarch of Constantinople has never declared any of the councils an Ecumenical Council. They can have synods and other councils, but an Ecumenical Council is infallible. Because there is question, even among the Orthodox as to whether they can have a Council without Peter, none have been dogmatically declared an Ecumenical Council.

As FYI - orthodoxwiki.org/Ecumenical_Councils

God Bless

That would not be his prerogative alone, so it is little wonder that he has not done so.

I disagree. I fully believe that the Orthodox Church is capable of receiving the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and of teaching steadfastly and without error the true and unadulterated faith, just as the fathers of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the Council of Constantinople of 879, the Hesychast synods, etc. did.

I have only ever seen Ecumenists argue something like this. Such a perspective is certainly not traditional.

That is because one cannot “dogmatically declare” an Ecumenical Council as if making it so by fiat. Just as one does not “make” as a saint (God alone does this) but instead merely recognizes the fact of somebody’s sainthood, so too one cannot procedurally create an ecumenical council by meeting some set of predetermined criteria; rather, one merely bears witness to the ecumenical and inspired nature of a council which has been held. What makes a Council Ecumenical is ultimately the operation of the Holy Spirit.

The Jerusalem Synod of 1672 didn’t just decry Lucaris’s confession, it also affirmed transubstantiation and purgatory.

I am reading Cyril’s confession now - it’s good.

either way, none of these councils are universally recognized as Ecumenical.

I disagree. I fully believe that the Orthodox Church is capable of receiving the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and of teaching steadfastly and without error the true and unadulterated faith, just as the fathers of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the Council of Constantinople of 879, the Hesychast synods, etc. did.

  1. I never said that the Orthodox are heraticial nor receive inspiration. I simply said that they cannot

I have only ever seen Ecumenists argue something like this. Such a perspective is certainly not traditional.

If you read the histories of the first 7 Councils, you will see that there were not official until the Pope accepted them. I also find it intersting that the Eastern Orthodox, Oriential Orthodox, and Church of the East have not had what they call an Ecumenical Council since seperating from the Bishop of Rome.

That is because one cannot “dogmatically declare” an Ecumenical Council as if making it so by fiat. Just as one does not “make” as a saint (God alone does this) but instead merely recognizes the fact of somebody’s sainthood, so too one cannot procedurally create an ecumenical council by meeting some set of predetermined criteria; rather, one merely bears witness to the ecumenical and inspired nature of a council which has been held. What makes a Council Ecumenical is ultimately the operation of the Holy Spirit.

This is what I meant. When a saint is dogmatically declared a saint, the Pope is NOT making him a saint, the Church is recognizing that he is a Saint.

An Ecumenical Council must be accepted by the Chair of Peter. There is at one of the first 7 councils where it was not accepted as Ecumenical until the next Pope dogmatically “approved it”.

The basic truth is that besides the role of Peter, there is really very little that seperates Catholic Theology from Orthodox Theology. Most disagreements are based on mis-understandings or different expression of the same thing.

I imagine that has something to do with the break-up and eventual demise of the oecumene during the Middle Ages.

The basic truth is that besides the role of Peter, there is really very little that seperates Catholic Theology from Orthodox Theology. Most disagreements are based on mis-understandings or different expression of the same thing.

This is wishful thinking.

It’s not. The Catholic Church has way more in common with the Eastern Orthodox than we do with the Church of England. We also have way more in common with the Oriental Orthodox and Church of the East then we do with the Anglicans as well.

The fact is that politics was the number one cause of strain between each of the four groups. But that strain is starting to lessen now that we have global, instant communication available.

A reunion between the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and/or Church of the East is way more probable then even reuniting with the Church of England.

More precisely, there are dozens of otherwise minor differenes amounting to pimples (not molehills) that have been exaggerated by people on both sides into apparent mountains. If you want to see them as irreconcilable differences, you can. But if you want to see them as different witnesses describing the same thing from different perspectives, you can do that too. The hard part is decoding what we want from what IS.

I haven’t denied any of what you’ve just said. But the truth is that the Orthodox see your disunity as far more than a matter of semantics. The filioque is a church-dividing theological issue. Your different approaches to divorce, remarriage and communion are church-dividing. Above all, the theology of the Papacy is church-dividing. Rome used to acknowledge this: “Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Unam Sanctam, 1302).

Just as Protestants ought to be honest about the real theological differences between them and Rome, so too Roman Catholics ought to be honest about the real theological differences which separate Rome from the Orthodox Churches.

And I’m sure most Anglicans would say that we have a lot more in common, theologically speaking, with the Orthodox rather than the Catholics.

No disrespect, but I really can’t see how. Except for the teaching regading the role of the Bishop of Rome, Orthodox theology and Anglican theology are not the same. Again, except for the teachings on the Pope, anywhere that Anglican theology and Orthodox theology is the same, it’s also the same in the Catholic Church.

In areas where Catholics and Orthodox disagree (not regarding the Pope) the Anglicans also disagree with the Orthodox. Anglicans cannot universerally agree upon even the first seven Ecumenical Councils.

Also, the Eastern Catholic Churches are almost 100% similar to their Orthodox brethen (minus communion withe the Pope).

Again, except for the Pope, there is not a single topic where Anglicans are closer to Orthodox than they are to Catholics.

If you do not mind, please list a few areas.

Thank you

What even IS Anglican theology? I’m told by a reliable Anglican source that it was William F. Buckley who summarized it best (my opinion) when he said “Is there anyone on earth, from the Pope to Mao Tse Tung, who can be entirely certain that he is not an Episcopalian?”

Or as that source usually puts it “A motley crew.” (Not crue).

Well, during the first part of the 20th century, Anglicans and Orthodox made a lot of headway, which culminated in the favorable view of Anglican Orders by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in 1922. Naturally, his favorable view caused controversy and it really never was in effect.

Also, Anglicans and the Orthodox are not going to have problems when it comes to the Papacy or divorce and remarriage.

Furthermore, the Anglican Communion and the Orthodox Churches are set up very similar to one another. The Anglican Communion is made up of independent churches that form a confederation, with the spiritual head the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Orthodox Churches are independent churches that form a confederation with their spiritual head in Constantinople.

When it comes to the Eucharist, both of our churches are content with accepting the real presence of Christ’s body and blood, while leaving the specifics as holy mystery.

The idea that the only issue between Rome and Constantinople is the Papacy is quite silly. You may be closer to a reunion to the East today than Anglicans are due to a number of issues, but this hasn’t always been the case.

Well, you can start with the historic Creeds and with the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. After that, you can read our constitution and canons. It seems pretty clear where we stand on the essentials of faith, on the non-essentials there is charity and diversity. Queen Elizabeth once said “I would not open windows into men’s souls.” That is how we do things when it comes to non-essentials.

That’s interesting. I thought Orthodox regard all Bishops as holding the seat of Saint Peter.

There was a point where Anglican Orders looked favorable among Catholic Bishops too. But BOTH the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox decided that Anglican orders would not be recognized. And now that there are female bishops, the Orthodox and Catholics will most likely never recognized their Orders.

Also, Anglicans and the Orthodox are not going to have problems when it comes to the Papacy or divorce and remarriage.

I said other than papacy. Also, I believe that the Orthodox view on divorce is much different than the Anglican one.

Furthermore, the Anglican Communion and the Orthodox Churches are set up very similar to one another. The Anglican Communion is made up of independent churches that form a confederation, with the spiritual head the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Orthodox Churches are independent churches that form a confederation with their spiritual head in Constantinople.

this is just logistics, not theology. Also, as FYI - the Catholic Church is a group of 20 some independent Churches with their own synods; which are all in Communion with the Bishop of Rome. The Roman Rite of the Latin Church (aka the Roman Catholic Church) is simply the largest part of the Catholic Church.

When it comes to the Eucharist, both of our churches are content with accepting the real presence of Christ’s body and blood, while leaving the specifics as holy mystery.

this doesn’t make sense. The ONLY reason the Catholic Church needed to define Dogmatically Transubstantiation was because some protestants disagreed with the Real Presence. The Orthodox didn’t have to deal with this. The Orthodox believe the same thing as the Catholics, but just didn’t dogmatically declare it.

The Catholic Church declared the following during the Protestant Counter-Reformation (Council of Trent)

“denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue” and anyone who “saith, that, in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood - the species only of the bread and wine remaining - which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation, let him be anathema.”

The Eastern Orthodox state the following in their Longer Catechism and was declared by their Synod of Jerusalem in 1672

"In the celebration of [the Eucharist] we believe the Lord Jesus Christ to be present. He is not present typically, nor figuratively, nor by superabundant grace, as in the other Mysteries, nor by a bare presence, as some of the Fathers have said concerning Baptism, or by impanation, so that the Divinity of the Word is united to the set forth bread of the Eucharist hypostatically, as the followers of Luther most ignorantly and wretchedly suppose. But [he is present] truly and really, so that after the consecration of the bread and of the wine, the bread is transmuted, transubstantiated, converted and transformed into the true Body Itself of the Lord, Which was born in Bethlehem of the ever-Virgin, was baptized in the Jordan, suffered, was buried, rose again, was received up, sits at the right hand of the God and Father, and is to come again in the clouds of Heaven; and the wine is converted and **transubstantiated **into the true Blood Itself of the Lord, Which as He hung upon the Cross, was poured out for the life of the world.

Furthermore, there are official Eastern Orthodox church documents that speak of a “change” (in Greek μεταβολή) or “metousiosis” (μετουσίωσις) of the bread and wine. “Μετ-ουσί-ωσις” (met-ousi-osis) is the Greek word used to represent the Latin word “trans-substanti-atio,” as Greek “μετα-μόρφ-ωσις” (meta-morph-osis) corresponds to Latin “trans-figur-atio.”

The ONLY real difference is that the Catholics were forced to Dogmatically define the belief that Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, & the Church of the East all confess. Any disagreements is really over authority to define and syntax; but not content.

Anglicans are free to interpret how the change happens. Orthodox are not free to interpret. They officially adhere the tradition that it’s a mystery, but when pressed for a description, their Catechism points out the correct teaching.

The idea that the only issue between Rome and Constantinople is the Papacy is quite silly.

I didn’t say the “only issue,” I said the “major issue.” Most (not all) of the other issues have already been agreed on by both Rome & Constantinople.

God Bless.

As far as I see it, the Anglican Church is a man-made denomination created by a power-hungry king of England who wanted even more power than kingship, so he created a ‘Church’ and claimed apostolic succession to suit his wants.

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