Wednesday, 9 June 2010

...of the Greek Variety

Saint Basil the Great:

''It has seemed to me to be desirable to send a letter to the bishop of Rome, begging him to examine our condition, and since there are difficulties in the way of representatives being sent from the West by a general synodical decree, to advise him to exercise his own personal authority in the matter by choosing suitable persons to sustain the labours of a journey,--suitable, too, by gentleness and firmness of character, to correct the unruly among us here; able to speak with proper reserve and appropriateness, and thoroughly
well acquainted with all that has been effected after Ariminum to undo the violent measures adopted there."
(Epistle 69)

I have often read claims that in the early Church, the Bishop of Rome, exercised mere 'first among equals' status, and that the Greek Fathers certainly upheld this view. So here, which goes along rather nicely with a previous quotation from Saint Maximus the Confessor, one of the Holy Hierarchs professes belief in the jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff.

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