Pope? “Nyet!,” says Russian Patriarch. And there you go.
Rome continues to claim that the Pope is the universal head of the Church, except of course that he actually is such only according to Roman theories on Petrine primacy. The Russian Orthodox Church has announced that there can be no compromise with Rome on this point. And if Russia says this, the other so-called "Patriarchs" in Eastern Orthodoxy will of course have to agree, or there would go the consensus that Eastern Orthodoxy. So, unless Rome relinquishes its claims about the Pope, there will be no reunification of East and West. And, of course, if Rome backs away from the claim that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ on earth and the universal head of the entire Church and, by extension, of all Christians, whether they recognize him as such or not, well, that would mean the end of Roman Catholicism which derives its authority and unity not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but from Papal primacy (a major reason we had the little incident in the 16th century called the Reformation of the Church). And there you go. And so you see, this is not really, in the end, an argument about the Gospel, but who is the greatest and who is the boss.
Russian Orthodox bishop rules out ‘compromise’ on papacy
By Sophia Kishkovsky
Moscow, 6 June (ENI)–A representative of the Russian Orthodox Church has ruled out any "compromise" with the Roman Catholic Church over the status of the papacy, which is one of the issues that continues to divide the Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox churches.
"There can be no compromises whatsoever in this matter," said Russian
Orthodox Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria. Hilarion serves as the
Moscow Patriarchate’s emissary to European organizations, and he was
speaking in an interview with Russia’s Interfax news agency in advance
of an October meeting of Orthodox and Catholic theologians in Ravenna,
The Catholic Church teaches that the Pope has a leading role among
Christians because, as bishop of Rome, he is successor to the apostle
Peter who, according to some traditions, held this office.
In his 28 May interview, however, Bishop Hilarion said, "Historically,
the primacy of the Roman bishop in the Christian Church was, from our
point of view, a primacy of honour, and not jurisdiction. That is to
say, the jurisdiction of the Pope of Rome was never applied to all the
The issue of papal primacy is expected to be a central topic of
discussion between the Orthodox and Catholic representatives at the
Ravenna meeting of the Joint International Commission for Theological
Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.
The commission, created in 1979, weathered turbulence in the 1990s over
religious tensions in post-communist Eastern Europe. Talks broke off in
2000 over the issue of "uniatism," which concerns the practice of
Eastern Catholic churches that are loyal to Rome but observe various
A growing Orthodox-Catholic thaw under Pope Benedict XVI jumpstarted a
new round of discussions, held in Belgrade in September 2006. But that
meeting underscored a growing rift within Orthodoxy, with Moscow and
the Patriarchate of Constantinople vying for influence in the Orthodox
The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is seen by many Orthodox
Christians as their spiritual leader, but the Moscow Patriarchate
oversees the world’s largest Orthodox population.
The representatives of the Russian church at the Belgrade meeting
especially objected to a paragraph in a document which, in their view,
placed Constantinople on a par with Rome.
Orthodoxy, said Bishop Hilarion, does not have a hierarch, or religious
leader, analogous to the Pope. He added, "One should not create the
illusion that such a hierarch exists." [405 words]
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