Why does Rome not accept 8th Canon of 3rd Ecumenical Council, which gives full independence to the Church of Cyprus?
That has been one of the kickers. The reason I started this forum is because I am trying to formulate a debate against the orthodox idea that the see of Rome (and now Constantinople) have a ‘primacy of honor’ (I think the term is), where the bishop of Constantinople is the first among all bishops and sees (Another analogy I have heard used to describe the orthodox understanding ‘Primacy of Honor’ is like a board of directors. The chairman of the board is technically the man in charge, but he still only has one vote and has no more power then any of the other board members)
And the Independence of Cyprus is one of those issues that keeps giving validity to the orthodox understanding of church governance. All other catholic sources I have read basically say that the cannon is misinterpreted (a defense I have also heard for the Novus Ordo. I do not remember the exact details, but my understanding is that one of the popes ((I want to say Urban something)) said in an encyclical that no new rites of the church where to be established after that point in time. Like I said, I do not remember the spesifics, but I want to say it was one of the medieval pontiffs.)
I’m not a scholar of the ecumenical councils, but it appears the Church of Antioch was trying to take over the See of Cyprus by appointing bishops there, and this canon condemned that and like practices, along with the forcible takeover of dioceses. Such actions were about temporal politics and control and outside the order of normal church governance.
I’m not sure this touches directly on Papal supremacy, though. Perhaps that comes down to a different understanding of what the “normal church governance” was.
Full independence? I think not. Cyprus didn’t become its own completely separate Church. It remained subject to the future decrees of ecumenical councils if nothing else. What Cyprus received was administrative autonomy in all local matters. This is also true of say the Melkite Greek Catholic Church today- in full communion with Rome, yet governed by it’s own synod and patriarch. Rome does not appoint their patriarch, the synod elects him.
This Canon 8th tells us that the Church of Cyprus gained independence from the Church of Antioch, not Rome, and it got it’s approval from the Ecumenical Council, not from the Pope. Ignoring the fact that first 8 Ecumenical Councils were summoned by the emperor, not pope, and they were not presided by Popes, they were presided by Eastern Patriarchs, Popes were mostly not even present. It gives us image of different Church than of Catholic Church of today.
If we look at thing called Dyptich, this is a list of Patriarchs (Popes) according to which each Patriarch mentions the names of other Patriarchs during Liturgy, in other words, that is Full Communion between the Patriarchs (Their Churches / Synods).
During first millenium Church, when Patriarch or Pope wanted to defend his views, he would threaten other Patriarch that he will stop mentioning his name during Liturgy (Dyptich).
Today’s Rome has lost this Dyptich tradition. You wont hear Pope Francis mentioning Eastern Catholic Patriarchs during Mass (Liturgy). Because papacy was built at such level that Pope became Patriarch of Patriarchs.
While in the Eastern Orthodox Church, you will hear for example Patriarch of Moscow mentioning all other Patriarchs and other arch-bishop primates.
They have this list of honor, first they mention Patriarch of Constantinople, then Pope of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Moscow, etc…
This Dyptich list is long gone in Rome’s tradition.
We can copy paste Church Father’s quotes without context about saint Peter all day long, the life of the Early Church tells us different story.
Any Catholic who says the Pope ruled the global pre-schism Church the way the pope governs the modern Catholic Church has no grounding in history. I say this as a faithful Catholic who confesses all that Vatican I proposed. The Pope did have primacy and there are many Fathers and events that testify to this, but he exercised that primacy more like a Supreme Court- settling disputes and hearing appeals. He was NOT a king who governed the day to day affairs of the global church. The local synods had complete autonomy in local matters unless an issue was appealed to the see of Rome due to a dispute. I quoted earlier in this thread from the catechism. Each bishop is a vicar of Christ who receives his authority directly from the Lord. The Pope’s primacy exists to ensure unity among the bishops. It wasn’t his job to micromanage the local Churches. The fact that modern popes appoint most of the world’s bishops is a very recent novelty completely foreign to Catholic tradition- it is a matter of discipline not doctrine. Pope Francis has spoken of returning to a more administratively decentralized Church. The Pope retains primacy to preserve unity, to settle disputes when required, but the local bishops are entrusted with their own flocks and do what is best within the confines of Church law. In fact, since Vatican II we have maken strides in this regard. The national conferences of bishops now have great autonomy and you’ll find that various norms vary from country to country. They are not the true local synods of old, but it is a step towards the more traditional model of Church governance.
In regards to the Orthodox, were I to reject the primacy of Rome, I would not be able to decide between the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox. What constitutes as ecumenical council if not the ratification of the pope? The Eastern O accept Chalcedon while the Oriental O reject it.
All Orthodox Churches are subjected to the Ecumenical Synod. The 8th Canon is clear, Orthodox Church of Cyprus is independent, arch-bishop of Cyprus is mentioned by Patriarchs during Liturgy they serve.
Pope Francis does not mention Patriarch Gregory (Melkite) during Mass. Popes of first 1000 years used to mention Eastern Patriarchs at their Mass.
So what? The liturgy has evolved even in the East- in other ways. The Eastern Patriarchs walk with the pope during his inauragation mass. They play a special role at his funeral. Their unique dignities are respected and recognized in other ways. The Pope does not appoint the Eastern Patriarchs nor does he tell them how to run their churches. Is there room for improvement? Definitely. As expressed in the post above, I believe the current model of Church governance is not faithful to authentic Catholic tradition. Many agree with me including, I think, Pope Francis. Our previous Pope (Benedict, who turned 89 today!), as Joseph Ratzinger, wrote many decades ago in favour of the Latin Church being divided into several autonomous patriarchates along the Eastern model. Yet the Pope of Rome retains primacy to settle disputes and preserve unity when required.
Matter of Dyptichs are not Liturgical question, but are matter of ecclesiology. Again, why did Rome not accept Canon 8th?
Or why should Church of Cyprus have independence and Church of France not? Or Spain? Or Sicily?
Some would say they should. That’s what I was getting at. Autonomous local churches are not necessarily at odds with the concept of universal primacy. I thought I made it pretty clear in earlier posts that I, and many other Catholics, do support administrative autonomy for the local Churches. And as I’ve noted, we’ve made great steps towards restoring such local autonomy since Vatican II. For example, minimum fasting requirements, holy days of obligation, certain feasts days, or when to kneel during the liturgy vary between Canada and the US as the bishops conferences now enjoy some of the autonomy the ancient local synods enjoyed. We’ll get there. Pope Francis has spoken of it a number of times. Papal primacy is necessary to safeguard the unity of the Church, otherwise we have no sure way of discerning between say the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox communions, but how it’s been exercised in recent centuries is a matter of discipline not dogma. The pope need not micromanage. I Imagine that we will someday see a Synod of France that elects it’s own bishops and enacts it’s own canons, yet in full communion with Rome. Reconciliation with the East will not be possible if we continue to exaggerate papal primacy as many Catholics even on this board do. Again, I accept the first Vatican Council, but in practice papal primacy should be exercised only when truly required for the unity of the Church.
Reading the Dyptichs is a matter of Church discipline. Discipline has and will continue to evolve with time. Sts Peter and Paul didn’t read them either.
Well to be fair, the Frankish Church was independent. Which is why it didn’t accept II Nicaea on the basis that the papacy did not represent them.
When synods of France, Spain, Portugal, Brazil and others… elect their own Patriarchs or Popes, who are in communion with Pope of Rome who is first among equals, and not bishop of bishops, only then Eastern Orthodox will be ready to reestablish communion with Rome and other western Churches.
I’m not a historian or a theologan, but it seems to me there has to be someone in a position to decide who is right and who is wrong in some important matters. Otherwise the church won’t function properly and unity won’t be accomplished in things that matter.
First among equals won’t accomplish anything. This doesn’t mean either that the Pope decides everything, but just those matters that come to a boil when one church says they are right while the other says they are right. If there isn’t someone who they can appeal to, then how are these important points to be settled? It comes down to threatening the dismemberment of the body of Christ.
I am only referring to certain matters from time to time that have to be decided. And tho it would be nice to settle all matters thru a world council, that’s not practical. It seems necessary to have a court to appeal to when disputes come up or someone to appeal to. And that means more than just first among equals.
I don’t know how this power or function should be expressed or framed, but the church needs this. Any organization needs some group or person to say the “buck” stops here. Buisness simply doesn’t function if there isn’t.
I believe the biggest problem is history itself. The feelings of so many were run over. There first has to be a lot of forgiveness toward one another. And the love of Jesus has to override all bitterness and memory. I believe this is the real problem. Once this is overcome, then the rest would fall into place. Jesus has to be the reason.
Rome favored the triple Petrine See not patriarchates. The Roman liturgy did not have the Dyptich like the east did, ever. The Roman naming was only the local bishop and the Pope.
When bishop of one Patriarchate (Local Church) is being defrocked or forcefully retired, local Assembly of Bishops presided by the Patriarch or primate Arch-bishop gather and they vote.
When Patriarch is defrocked or retired, Constantinople Patriarch calls for Pan-Orthodox Council, and if local bishops broke their loyalty to their Patriarch, Pan-Orthodox Patriarchs and Primate Arch-bishops vote, and if they confirm the decision, accused Patriarch’s name is being deleted from the Dyptichs (Liturgical name mentioning).
It happened in 2005, bishops of Jerusalem Patriarchate rebelled against their Patriarch, Patriarch of Constantinople, who acts as first among equals, called all Patriarchs of Orthodox Churches to gather and decide what to do with Patriarch of Jerusalem, They decided to support the bishops of Jerusalem and remove Patriarch Ireneous (2001-2005)
If Pope of Rome was in Eastern Orthodox Communion, he would have done the job of Constantinople’s Patriarch.
But it isn’t just about this one thing of removing a high cleric from his office, but all sorts of differences that may arise that are important. These differences may not be as numerically great as that have been, but they are still around and should be settled to keep the church in oneness with Christ. But then again it isn’t just about the oneness but rather about the love that Jesus wants us to show one another … the greatest is the one who serves.
The service of love by the first among equals is what Eastern Orthodox claim too.
and the Orthodox are right to claim it, as is the Roman Pope. I don’t see what you are disputing here, there seems to be nothing substantial only differences in practice due to historical circumstance
It is very important to make these things clear. If historical Rome failed to keep the Tradition of Synod style Church between equal Patriarchates with order of honor, and not the papacy, then Eastern Orthodox have a good argument that Rome broke the Tradition and canons of the Church and that Rome is actually schismatic, and not Eastern Orthodox.
This Canon 8 argument is very strong argument.
All of this would tell us then, that Papacy was built in defiance to the Church, and that Vatican I was the maximum of that defiance.