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Eastern Orthodoxy: Primacy and Reunion

by James Likoudis

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    Document Information

  • Description:
    An article about the obstacles to unity between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
  • Larger Work:
    The American Ecclesiastical Review
  • Pages: 104-116
  • Publisher & Date:
    The Catholic University of America Press, February 1966

This is the sacred mystery of the unity of the Church, in Christ and through Christ, the Holy Spirit energizing its various functions. It is a mystery that finds its highest exemplar and source in the unity of the Persons of the Trinity: the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit, one God. (II Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism)1

It has become now commonplace to assert that the dogma of the Apostolic primacy is the only real barrier to the recomposition of unity long desired by Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. Catholics, moreover, have expressed the hope that one of the major fruits of the II Vatican Council's Constitution on the Church and its Decree on Ecumenism will be a further reassessment by our Orthodox brethren of the role of the papacy in the Church.

The writings of Fathers George Florovsky, John Meyendorff, Alexander Schmemann, Nicholas Afanassieff, Mr. Timothy Ware, and Professor Nikos Nissiotes already bear witness to a growing understanding of, at least, the historical basis of the "diakonia" of the Cathedra Petri toward the universal episcopate. As Father Meyendorff writes in his The Orthodox Church:

Curiously enough, the ecclesiological problem was never posed as a real issue in the medieval debate between Constantinople and Rome. . . . only in 1204 . . . after the sack of Constantinople did Byzantine theologians begin to discuss seriously the origin of the power which the popes claimed to have.2

And again, Mr. Ware writes:

. . . Orthodoxy does not deny to the Holy and Apostolic See of Rome a primacy of honour, together with the right (under certain conditions) to hear appeals from all parts of Christendom . . . Rome's mistake—so Orthodox believe—has been to turn the primacy or "presidency of love" into a supremacy of external power and jurisdiction.3

In articles containing irenic criticisms of the ecumenicity of the II Vatican Council and its Constitution on the Church, Professor Nissiotes attributes the Catholic distortion of the primacy to "the Roman misinterpretation of the role of the Spirit" and to the lack of a "pneumatological ecclesiology."4

What is clear from the above quotations (and others could be easily supplied) is the impact of modern historical research demonstrating the Roman bishops' actual early exercise of a supremacy of jurisdiction over the Universal Church, but also the continued resistance by Orthodox theologians to such a primacy of jurisdiction "de jure divino" in the name of an "ecclesiology based on love and mutual obedience without juridical primacy" (Prof. Nissiotes' phrase) that (as we shall see) has its profoundest roots in the Orthodox concept of the eternal relations which exist between the persons of the All Holy Trinity.

It would appear, therefore, that since the mystery of the Church in the patristic East has always been understood and "lived in narrow dependence upon the mystery of the Trinity,"5 the dogma of the Apostolic Primacy of the successor of St. Peter would be correspondingly clarified by further study of the Trinitarian-ecclesiological relationship indispensable to a true understanding of the Church Christ founded.

St. Thomas Aquinas, long ago, in his famous Contra Errores Graecorum (1264 A.D.) had pointed out, "To say that the Vicar of Christ, the Roman Pontiff, does not hold the primacy in the universal Church is an error analogous to that which denies that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son."6 The contemporary Dominican theologian, Father Yves Congar, has drawn attention to the decisive significance of the Angelic Doctor's sagacious observation :

It has often been observed that a theology which denies the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit from the Word tends to minimize the part played by definite forms of authority in actual life, and this leaves the way more open to a kind of independent inspiration. The ecclesiology of the Orthodox Churches has a distinctly "pneumatic" tendency and declines to accept Catholic ideas of authority which seem to savour of legalism.7

In a study (that hopefully will soon be published), "The Teaching of St. Thomas in Respect to the Trinitarian-Ecclesiological Relationship in Eastern Orthodox Theology," Father Dismas Purcell, S.A., has analyzed how St. Thomas exposed the trinitarian error responsible for the truncated ecclesiology of the dissident Pan-Orthodox churches:

Saint Thomas perceived that since the rejection . . . of the Filioque implicitly was a disclaiming of the real distinction between the processions, then such a rejection could only lead to a confusion of the two processions, so that in theory, one would tend to be absorbed within the other. Moreover, as the Saint, with piercing insight, remarks, since in this instance, as throughout all Christian history, errors in faith "seem to tend principally to this, that they derogate from the dignity of Christ" (Contra Errores Graecorum) it is to be expected that the procession of the Son in Eastern Orthodox theology be absorbed, so to speak, within the procession of the Holy Spirit. This absorption becomes most evident in Orthodox ecclesiology in reference to the divine missions which, in essence, include the eternal processions with a temporal effect. Saint Thomas, therefore, is not surprised to find that in Eastern Orthodox ecclesiology the extension of the visible messianic mission of Christ in his visible Vicar is absorbed entirely within the invisible mission of the Holy Spirit as unifying principle of the Church.8 (Emphasis mine)

In view, therefore, of their continued rejection of the "Filioque," Professor Nissiotes and other modern Orthodox theologians are understandably consistent in criticizing Catholic theology for its "subordination of the work of the Spirit to that of Christ in the realm of ecclesiology,"9 and in progressively proceeding to abandon the traditional teaching of the East concerning the infallibility of Ecumenical Councils ex sese. The protestantizing theology of the nineteenth century Slavophile theologians has wrought ecclesiological havoc among Orthodox thinkers, culminating in their growing rejection of any functional infallibility in the Church. For some of these theologians the traditional dogmatic teaching concerning the "collegiality of bishops" has been replaced by the innovation of the "collegiality of the whole Christian people"! Father Purcell rightly views this tragic departure from the ancient tradition of Councils as the inevitable consequence of an "ecclesiological apollinarianism wherein any supreme, divinely established authority is replaced altogether by the invisible authority of the Spirit dwelling within the whole Church."10

The modernist proponents of this more advanced Sobornost school, however, have not been exempt from a certain "malaise" at advancing such theological innovations. Professor Nissiotes candidly admits, "When Orthodox criticize the absence of a consistent pneumatology in Roman ecclesiology, they should not forget that for some centuries now, after the schism of 1054 and the Reformation, in Orthodox countries dogmatics has been taught without pneumatology in the majority of theological schools and facilities."11

Moreover, we can expect increasing embarrassment on the part of Orthodox theologians engaged in dialogue as the radically contradictory nature of the ecclesiological theses held by traditionalists and modernists become increasingly apprehended by the simple faithful. Perhaps Catholic observers have not sufficiently emphasized that a veritable ecclesiological crisis actually exists in the Pan-Orthodox world. Nevertheless, it is precisely the doctrine (common to both Orthodox and Catholics) that the undivided unity of the Church is derived from the undivided unity of the Holy Trinity that offers a most fruitful approach for settlement of the apparently insurmountable obstacle of the dogma of the papacy. It is most instructive to note how Orthodox theologians apply trinitarian theology to the unity of the Church. Timothy Ware has emphasized what may be termed the most common explanation.

This conception of the Church as an icon of the Trinity has many further applications. "Unity in diversity"—just as each person of the Trinity is autonomous, so the Church is autonomous, so the Church is made up of a number of independent Autocephalous Churches; and just as in the Trinity the three persons are equal, so in the Church no one bishop can claim to wield an absolute power over all the rest.12

Father Alexander Schmemann, following the same line of reasoning, agrees that "One is able to apply to the Church by analogy, Trinitarian theology. As the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity do not divide the divine nature, each of them living and possessing it entirely, likewise the nature of the Mystical Body of Christ is not divided by the multiplicity of churches."13 But, Father Schmemann continues, "as there is a certain order among the Divine Persons, so there is a certain order (a hierarchy) among the churches. In this hierarchy there is a first Church and a first Bishop."14 Of course, Father Schmemann goes on to deny that the "first Church" has any power over its sister Churches and opines for an eucharistic ecclesiology where "unity is not maintained from without by the authority of a Supreme Pontiff, but created from within by the celebration of the Eucharist."15 But the principle that traditional trinitarian theology logically necessitates the positing of a "first Church" is a truly remarkable admission, and (as we shall see later) can well serve as the basis for more profound reflection on the nature of what St. Theodore the Studite (+826) termed the theia protarchia ("divine primacy") of the See of Rome (Epistle 1, 33).

It is thus evident from the writings of the Angelic Doctor and present day Orthodox theologians that a rejection of the "Filioque" inevitably leads to the logical rejection of the primacy of jurisdiction "de jure divino" of the See of Peter. Likewise, the dogma of the procession of the Holy Spirit from both the Father and the Son admittedly leads to the "emphasis on papal authority."16 Now, it is precisely this belief in the dual procession of the Holy Spirit from both the Father and the Son as from one principle that Orthodox writers increasingly grant was common throughout the Western Church since the days of the great St. Augustine, and, therefore, long before the Schism. Indeed, the explicit doctrine of the greatest of the Latin Fathers, St. Augustine, has proved an insuperable obstacle to those who would defend the novel opinion of the Patriarch Photius who so tragically misunderstood even the teaching of the Eastern Fathers. In his Homilies on the Gospel of St. John XCIX, 6 f., St. Augustine exposed the Catholic dogma on the procession of the Holy Spirit with the utmost clarity.

There are yet many other proofs by which it is clearly shown that He who in the Trinity is called the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of both the Father and the Son. But from the one from whom the Son has his divinity—for He is God of God—from the same one He also has it that the Holy Ghost proceeds from Him also. Hence the Holy Ghost has it from the Father that He also proceeds from the Son as He proceeds from the Father.17

In a fine review of Father Gill's The Council of Florence, Miss Helle Georgiades has remarked that

It is characteristic that the argument used by Bessarion [at the Council of Florence]—that the Latin saints who taught the "Filioque" could not be heretics since it was the same Spirit who spoke in all the saints as witness the harmony of their writings—finally prevailed with the Orthodox. "Till now," the Greeks declared after months of lengthy debate, "we never knew the Latin saints nor read them; now however, we have come to know them, have read them and approve them" . . . For Catholics the voice of the Popes and Councils since Florence as well as before are of course authoritative. But for those who do not yet accept this authority, the writing's of individual saints and doctors of the Church are more compelling. The Orthodox in particular are very open to listening to such witnesses.18 (Emphasis mine)

In fact, the witness of such saints before the Schism is as decisive on the prerogatives of the Apostolic See of Peter as it is on the procession of the Holy Spirit. It would be easy to multiply well-known passages from Popes such as Pope St. Leo the Great (+461) and other Latin saints to corroborate the celebrated Vladimir Soloviev's brilliant intuition of the Papacy as "that miraculous ikon of universal Christianity." But the most eminent Greek Doctors write in no different vein when they have occasion to treat of the relationship of their sister churches in the East to the Cathedra Petri. St. Maximus the Confessor's (+662) dogmatic teaching concerning the Roman Church is definite enough: "The Apostolic See . . . from the very Incarnate Word of God and from all the holy synods of all the churches throughout the world in their sacred canons and definitions has received and possesses, in and for every thing, dominion, authority, and power to bind and to loose. With it the Word, set at the head of heavenly powers, binds and looses in heaven."19

Moreover, the Patriarch Photius, himself, clearly acknowledged the Roman See's primacy of jurisdiction. In Photius' Greek version of the letter of Pope John VIII to the Emperor read in the Acts of the Council of 879-80, the Pope's words were recorded with no objection.

One can ask from what master you have learned to act in that way? First of all, certainly from the coryphaeus of the Apostles, Peter, whom the Lord had constituted head of all churches when he said [to him]: "Feed my sheep." (John 21:17). Not only [from Him] but also from the holy synods and constitutions. And also from the holy and orthodox decrees and constitutions of the fathers, as it is testified by your divine and pious letters.20

What is most striking in the above testimonies—and more have been produced by Catholic theologians from the writings of St. Theodore the Studite (+826), the Patriarchs of Constantinople, St. Nicephore (+828), and St. Ignatius (+878), and the Apostle of the Slavs St. Methodius (+885)—is that they simply cannot be reconciled with the blind assertion that the Roman Church possesses a mere primacy of honor or a simple priority among equals. These texts from the tradition of the Church (which Father George Florovsky has aptly called "the witness of the Spirit") affirm for the Roman Church a true Primacy of Jurisdiction in and over the Universal Church, sanctioned by saints, local synods and ecumenical councils, but essentially derived from the words of the Lord Himself to the Prince of His Apostles, Peter. As the Patriarch of Constantinople, St. Ignatius (+878), wrote to one of the greatest of the Roman Pontiffs, St. Nicholas I,

. . . saying to Peter, the greatest of the Apostles: "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." And again "I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be bound in heaven." For such blessed words He did not circumscribe and define to the Prince of the Apostles alone by a kind of chance, but through him he transmitted them to all who, after him as his successors, were to be made chief pastors, and divine and sacred pontiffs of elder Rome. (Mansi XVI, 47)21

The teaching of modern Orthodox theologians that there is no visible Apostolic head and center of unity in the Teaching Episcopate sharply impugns the teaching of the "ancient undivided Church of the seven Ecumenical Councils." To speak but of the Latin Fathers, no amount of historical minimization can obscure the doctrinal teaching of Popes St. Damasus, St. Innocent I, St. Leo I, St. Gelasius I, St. Hormisdas, St. Gregory I, St. Martin I, and St. Nicholas I concerning the divinely established prerogatives of their Sees. It is unfortunate that Orthodox theologians such as Father Meyendorff who rightly stress the truth that the Church "sees unity in a communion of faith, of which the Church itself, or rather the Holy Spirit always dwelling in the Church, is the unique judge,"22 have not sufficiently grasped the import of the fact that the pre-Schism Church was in communion with these same holy Bishops of Rome, and that this, in itself, constitutes for adherents of a "theology of communion" an incontrovertible proof the Church approved the Popes' reiterated teaching that "the universal ordering of the Church at its birth took its origin from the office of Blessed Peter, in which is found both its directing power and its supreme authority" (Pope St. Boniface I [+422] Ep. 14).23

The above quotations from saints of the "ancient undivided Church," to which Orthodox and Anglicans are fond of appealing, also throw powerful light upon the famous Petrine texts whose meaning has similarly been minimized by opponents. Catholic theology has always held that to preserve unity among the Apostles (and, thereby, the entire "congregatio fidelium"), one Apostle was made the Rock, the Holder of the Keys, the Confirmer of his Brethren, the Chief Shepherd of the Lord's Flock. An Apostolic Primacy involving such unique and universal doctrinal functions, instituted by the Risen Lord Himself, can only be a real Primacy of jurisdiction. And indeed, only an Apostolic Primacy or real power is compatible with the many testimonies of the Fathers who saw in the Lord's founding on Peter the origin and source and visible principle of the Church's hierarchical and social unity. The cogent reasoning of the nineteenth-century Yankee convert-philosopher Orestes Brownson remains unassailable.

There is a logic in language as well as in the human mind, of which it is the expression, and there is a reason for every symbolical locution that gains currency. If the Fathers and the Church had not held Peter to be the prince of the Apostles and his see the centre and source of apostolic authority, would they or could they have made his see or his chair the symbol of apostolic authority, or Peter himself the symbol, "the sign and type of apostolic unity"? Why the see of Peter rather than that of Andrew, James or John? or Peter rather than any other Apostle? The fact, then, that St. Peter and his see or chair were taken as symbolic, the sign and type, the one of apostolic unity, and the other of apostolic authority, is a very conclusive proof that [a] primacy [of jurisdiction] was given to him and his see by our Lord, and by succession to the . . . Roman Pontiffs, as the Fathers of Florence [defined]. . .24

It is an amazing phenomenon (and one easily appreciated by discerning Orthodox) that ecclesiastical tradition knows of only one bishop in the Catholic Church as the successor of an individual Apostle—the Bishop of Rome as the successor of Peter. All other bishops, even those of sees of apostolic origin, have always been considered as having a limited jurisdiction, and as being successors of the Apostolic College only in general, and as linked to their head as centre who alone of all bishops of the College was held to possess a truly universal jurisdiction. This consideration is particularly efficacious in promoting Orthodox comprehension of why the Catholic Church has termed the Primacy of her Chief Bishop the Apostolic Primacy. Indeed, no fact is more calculated to impress the mind of a pious Orthodox than the realization that it has been only the existence of an Apostolic Primacy in the See of Rome, communicating the divine mark of visible unity to the fellow bishops of its Communion, that prevents the concept of the "undivided episcopate" (still upheld by most Orthodox theologians) from being anything more than what many secular historians would be only too pleased to term an historic myth! An "undivided episcopate" is simply unintelligible unless it means that the Bishops who succeed to the episcopal powers of the Chosen Twelve are solidified into one indissoluble communion by one, sole, genuinely Apostolic (i.e., universal) centre of unity. This Apostolic centre or supreme teaching authority through which the Divine Head of the Church Jesus Christ keeps His Teaching Episcopate visibly one and apostolic can only mean the Papacy. The II Vatican Council has but faithfully reproduced the teaching of ancient Fathers and Councils when it solemnly asserted "in order that the episcopate itself might be one and undivided, He placed Blessed Peter over the other Apostles, and instituted in him a permanent and visible source and foundation of unity of faith and communion."25

Let us now resume our theme of the ecclesiological significance of the "Filioque"—and how the relationship between papacy and episcopacy splendidly mirrors the very hierarchy of persons in the Triune God.

As pointed out earlier, the great merit of Father Schmemann's article was to have acutely perceived that the unity of the Church of Christ as a visible extension and manifestation of the eternal unity of the Three persons of the All Holy Trinity demands the existence among a multiplicity of local churches of a "first Church and a first bishop." With other Orthodox theologians, however, he refuses to this "first Church and first bishop" the Apostolic Primacy essential to the office of visible head of the Church Militant and, thereby, voids the episcopate's ontological dependence upon the Primate of the Church in whom the Lord of the Church has focused the visible unity of His own Mystical Body.

It is apparent that Father Schmemann has not sufficiently comprehended the Trinitarian Doctrine of the Fathers who taught that the Son is one with the Father in being the eternal principle and source of the Holy Spirit; and that it is the dogma of the procession "ab utroque" which reveals in all its wondrous splendor the truth that from all eternity it is the Son who remains the centre of union between the Father and the Holy Spirit.26 The conclusion, therefore, is inescapable. If their hierarchical unity is to reflect this central, mediating position of the Son in the Trinity, the communion of sister churches which make up the One Body of Christ— the Universal Church—must have a centre of communion. And this visible centre of communion, through which the God-man Himself continues to invisibly teach, govern, and sanctify the members of His Mystical Body, can only be the central organ that Father Schmemann's "theologie triadologique" dimly perceived as the "first Church and first Bishop"—the Papacy.

It is evident that the doctrine of the procession "ab utroque" has a conspicuous ontological relationship to the doctrine of the papacy. Catholic dogma, indeed, reveals an astonishing coherence that can only be the result of the Divine Wisdom. The theologians of the autocephalous Churches, themselves, cannot but be impressed by the profound coinherence of the trinitarian dogma that identifies the Son also as the eternal principle and source and origin of the Holy Spirit, and the dogma that views the Papacy as the visible principle and source and origin of the visible unity of the Church. Both dogmas in the light of faith are seen to reinforce and illuminate one another in a sublime manner.

In the Catholic Church, alone, is found that perfectly harmonious synthesis of those principal elements, marvellously complementing one another, by which the Divine Head of the Church effects the visible unity of His Body:

the Eucharist: the bond of unity which makes the Church one sacramental and liturgical communion;
the Papacy:
the bond of unity which makes the Church one hierarchical community-communion; and
the Holy Spirit:
the bond of unity as Soul of the Church who makes the Church one supernatural organism and spiritual communion.

The resultant wondrous unity of faith, hope, charity and Petro-centric hierarchical communion uniquely characterizing the Catholic Church constitutes for the unbelieving world Christ's perpetual sign witnessing to the truth of His own Divine Mission.

In the growing dialogue with our Orthodox brethren already given impetus by the far-ranging decrees of the II Vatican Council concerning "collegialitas" and "a more conciliatory policy with regard to communicatio in sacris," the theology of the Angelic Doctor remains an indispensable guide in fathoming the words of Our Lord:

Yet not for these only do I pray, but for those also who through their word are to believe in me, that all may be one, even as thou. Father, in me and I in thee; that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory that thou hast given me, I have given to them, that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them and thou in me; that they may be perfected in unity, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and that thou hast loved them even as thou hast loved me. (St. John 17:20-23)

The Father and Son are one because of their unity in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from Both. The Church is one because of the unity of its faithful in the Holy Spirit whose mission is to unite the faithful to Christ, and, in Christ, to one another by incorporating them in one visible communion governed in love by the Apostles and their successors—the bishops with the successor of Peter as their head. There can be absolutely no schism in the Church between the role of the Spirit and that of the Apostolic hierarchy of Pope and bishops, or "separation between the Church as pneumatic community and as a juridical constitution,"27 because the mission of the Spirit is always exercised under the influence of Christ the Head; and the fundamental reason why the rule of the Spirit in the Church is under the influence of Christ is to be found in the eternal procession, the outpouring of the Spirit from the Father and the Son.

Sadly, Eastern Orthodox misconceptions of Catholic doctrine yet prevent the full realization of the successor of Peter's ecumenical exhortation at Grottaferrata on August 19, 1963, to "Let Fall the Barriers" and restore full communion with the Apostolic See. That is why the attention of competent theologians should be profitably directed toward meditating upon, and, perhaps, developing the teaching of St. Thomas on the Trinitarian-ecclesiological relationship briefly touched upon in this article, and summed up with penetrating insight by Father Purcell.

As an immediate refutation of [the Oxford] absorption and confusion in regard to the distinct missions, the Angelic Doctor explains that just as the Holy Spirit performs His invisible mission in the Church—a mission proper to Himself—so Christ perpetuates His visible mission in the Church preeminently through His visible Vicar, the Pope, by bestowing upon His Vicar a jurisdictional power which is the Pope's own power. As the Saint declares: "For Christ Himself, the Son of God, consecrates His Church and consigns it to Himself by means of His Holy Spirit, as if by His own character and seal. . . And similarly, the Vicar of Christ, as a faithful minister, by his primacy and rule keeps the universal Church subjected to Christ." Thus it can be seen that in the mind of the Angelic Doctor, the Mystical Body of Christ, the Catholic Church, embodies within itself the divine missions of redemption, and indeed exists in order to perpetuate and extend these same divine missions for all time to all men. Moreover, because She does embody within Herself the divine missions, the Church likewise mirrors the divine processions in the One God to men. In the vision of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Church is, so to speak, the prism by which God continuously manifests to man the divine missions and hence reveals the very spectrum of the eternal processions which occur in the inner life of the Holy Trinity. God has conformed His Church to His own inner life inasmuch as the divine missions of salvation present in the Church, which supply the very origin of Her existence have as their exemplar, and indeed include, the everlasting processions of the Divine Persons.28


1 As translated in School Justice Review (June 1965), p. 155.

2 John Meyendorff, The Orthodox Church (New York: Pantheon Books, 1962), p. 209.

3 Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1963), p. 35.

4 Cf. Nikos Nissiotes, "The Main Ecclesiological Problem of the 2nd Vatican Council," Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Vol. 2, No. I, p. 55.

5 Cardinal G. Lercaro, "La signification du Decret 'De Oecumenismo' pour le dialogue avec les Eglises Orientales non Catholiques," Irenikon 1964, No. 4, p. 469. See also: Piet Fransen, S.J., "The Church and the Trinity," Thought, Spring, 1963, p. 84. Father Fransen's article is a fine example of a study showing how Catholic ecclesiology can be made more comprehensible to our Orthodox brethren. However, in justly dismissing the exaggerations of Orthodox theologians V. Lossky and P. Sherrard, the ecclesiological significance of the "Filioque" is treated too cursorily.

6 Quoted in Yves Congar, The Mystery of the Church (Baltimore: Helicon Press, 1960), p. 153.

7 Ibid., p. 153.

8 I am indebted to Father Purcell for permission to quote from his manuscript.

9 N. Nissiotes, op. cit., p. 50.

10 D. Purcell, "The Church in Eastern Orthodox Teaching," Atonement, Vol. VI, 1964, p. 98.

11 N. Nissiotes, op. cit., p. 61.

12 T. Ware, op. cit., p. 244.

13 A. Schmemann in N. Afanassieff, etc.. La Primaute de Pierre dans l'Eglise orthodoxe (Paris, 1960), p. 143. Bernard Schultze, S.J., has severely criticized Father Schmemann's methodology. "Schmemann tries in vain to base his ecclesiology on the dogma of the most Holy Trinity, wishing to deduce from the fact that since in the hierarchy of the three Divine Persons there is no subordination, so also among the local Churches there is absence of subordination. Such a deduction is impossible because in the order of the Trinity there is absolute necessity whereas in the ecclesiastical order all depends on the free disposition of Our Lord." (Emphasis mine) (Bernard Schultze, S.J., "Universal or Eucharistic Ecclesiology?" Unitas, Vol. XVII, Summer 1965, pp. 98-99.) Father Schultze is, of course, quite correct in arguing it is a fallacy to determine the visible structure of the Church from purely a priori considerations concerning the Trinity. However, in this a priori context, where both parties, on the whole, concord concerning the doctrine of the Trinity, and agree that Christ founded but One Visible Church, only one ecclesiological doctrine will be found to harmonize with the explicit teaching (axiomatic with the Fathers, and commonly accepted by both Orthodox and Catholics) that the Unity of the ecclesiastical order was freely willed by Christ to be derived from the Unity of the Trinity.

14 Ibid., p. 143.

15 T. Ware, op. cit., p. 250.

16 Ibid., p. 223.

17 quoted in K. Algermissen, Christian Denominations (St. Louis: B. Herder Book Co., 1945), p. 391.

18 Eastern Churches Quarterly, Autumn and Winter 1958, p. 164.

19 Quoted in St. Maximus the Confessor: Ancient Christian Writers Series, ed. Polycarp Sherwood, O.S.B. (Westminster, Md.: The Newman Press, 1955), p. 76.

20 Quoted in F. Dvornik's "The Patriarch Photius and Roman Primacy," Chicago Studies, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring, 1963.

21 Quoted in M. Jugie, A.A„ Le schisme byzantin (Paris: P. Lethielleux, 1941), p. 90.

22 J. Meyendorff, op. cit., p. 225.

23 Quoted in T. G. Jalland, The Church and the Papacy (London: SPCK, 1946), p. 276.

24 The Works of Orestes A. Brownson (Detroit, 1882-1887), Vol. 8, pp. 487-488.

25 Constitution on the Church, Chapter III, no. 18, p. 20 (NCWC edition).

26 Cf. St. Basil: "By the Son who is one, the Spirit is joined to the Father who is one."—quoted in Dom B. Capelle's article, "The Procession of the Holy Spirit according to the Greek Liturgy of St. Basil," Eastern Churches Quarterly, Spring 1962, pp. 283-290. Abbot Capelle comments on the force of St. Basil's expression and other Trinitarian formulae in the writings of St. Athanasius and St. Gregory of Nyssa specifying that "it is by the Son's mediation that the Spirit proceeds from the Father" (p. 289).

27 P. Fransen, op. cit., p. 87.

28 D. Purcell's Manuscript: See Note 8.

© The American Ecclesiastical Review, The Catholic University of America Press, Washington, D.C.

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