Tuesday, December 19, 2006

More Thoughts on Orthodox-Roman Relations (IV)

The latest installment of the essay on Orthodox/Catholic relations by Archbishop Anthony (Bashir):

By Anthony Bashir, Archbishop-Metropolitan, Syrian Archdiocese of North America

From Orthodoxy* (10:4, Autumn 1964)

Let me review [Patriarch Maximos'] conclusions. Christ is, he says, the only head of the Church. The Pope, a successor of St Peter, is head of the episcopal college. The Pope as the head of the bishops governs them but is not distinct from them. The bishops are the true heads of their dioceses. The Orthodox Church is the result of a living apostolic tradition in which Rome intervenes only by way of exception. The primatial power of the Pope is personal and pastoral. It cannot be delegated, and is only to be understood in the light of the Pope's position as head of the episcopal college. The Patriarch assumes that these conclusions are possible even after the First Vatican Council of 1870 in which it was solemnly proclaimed that the Pope is infallible in himself, and without the consensus of the Church. If Patriarch Maximos is correct, then we Orthodox may hope that the First Vatican Council did not shut the door forever on a reconciliation with the Latin Church.

Read more: Thoughts on Orthodox-Roman Relations (IV)

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