The Papacy and the Orthodox: Sources and History of a Debate

The Papacy and the Orthodox Book Cover The Papacy and the Orthodox
A. Edward Siecienski
Oxford University Press
February 9, 2017
528

The Papacy and the Orthodox examines the centuries-long debate over the primacy and authority of the Bishop of Rome, especially in relation to the Christian East, and offers a comprehensive history of the debate and its underlying theological issues.Edward Siecienski begins by looking at the sources of the debate, objectively analyzing the history and texts that have long divided the Catholic and Orthodox world. Starting with the historical Apostle Peter and the role he played in the early church, the book turns to the biblical and patristicevidence long used in arguments for and against the Roman primacy. Siecienski details the 2000-year history of the papacy's reception - and rejection - among the Orthodox, beginning with the question that continues to bedevil ecumenists: what was the role of the Bishop of Rome during the time of theundivided church? As Rome's prestige and power grew, so too did debates over the pope's authority, its source, and its extent. The controversy became acute following the eleventh-century Gregorian Reforms and then the Fourth Crusade in the thirteenth century. Roman demands for obedience increasinglymet with strident refusals from the East, where the pope's universalist claims were seen as overturning the Church's synodal structure. By the time of the First Vatican Council (1870), which defined the pope's infallibility and universal jurisdiction-doctrines the Orthodox vehemently rejected-it wasalready clear that the papacy, long seen by Catholics as the ministry of unity, had become the chief obstacle to it. The final chapters cover the Second Vatican Council, recent attempts at dialogue on the issue of the primacy, and the hope that the dynamic could still shift. This book will be an invaluable resource as both Catholics and Orthodox continue to reexamine the sources and history of the debate in a newlight.

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