The Eastern Churches and St. Thomas Aquinas
(02-11-2012, 01:49 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(02-11-2012, 11:07 AM)Illumina Wrote: Anyway, this is a topic that really interests me and pains me as well.  As a new convert, it is disheartening for me especially to read about how some Eastern Catholics view Papal Supremacy, which seem to reduce the Pope to nothing more than the head of the Latin Church, with some minor say over the Eastern Churches. It is very confusing.
The Pope has greater administrative authority, but sacramentally he is on an equal footing with every other bishop.  The Pope is both father AND first among equals - the two aren't necessarily incompatible.

The problem with this is that you are creating a very artifical division between the sacramental nature of bishops (including the pope) and the jursidictional nature of bishops and the pope, now it is true that as regards the sacramental nature, the pope and bishops are equal but as regards jursidictional nature (which extends far beyond 'administrative authority) the pope is on a completely different footing. Bouscaren and Ellis in their commentary on Canon law state the following: 'By divine institution, the sacred hierarchy as regards order consists of Bishps, priests and ministers, as regards jurisdiction it consists of the supreme pontificate and the subordinate episcopate, other grades have been added to these by eclessiastical institution' p95

So one must be very careful when using the term 'First among equals' and frankly as its prone to abuse and misinterpretation, it is better not to use it at all.

A good example of the unique nature of the Popes unique authority is his power to dissolve marriages contracted between two baptised persons where one but not both seek baptism and converts and the other leaves the marriage (the Pauline Privilege) and where a baptised and non-baptised person are married and the person never seeks baptism, the marriage can likewise be dissolved (the Petrine privilege) there are of course other unique privileges accorded to the Pope but these are the two that came to mind.

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Re: The Eastern Churches and St. Thomas Aquinas - by TrentCath - 02-12-2012, 11:17 AM

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