The Eastern Churches and St. Thomas Aquinas
(02-12-2012, 11:17 AM)TrentCath Wrote: 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.

You are right, I knew when I wrote that that it went beyond administrative authority, but I couldn't think of the word 'jurisdictional' at the time.  Sacramentally, the bishops and the Pope are no different.  Yes, he has jurisdictional authority greater than the other bishops, and is not on the same footing there.  But because he is equal as a bishop, his jurisdiction is not intrinsic to his episcopacy, but something else altogether, that the other bishops do not share in - I guess this would be the divine institution of the papacy.

First among equals doesn't have to be a problem, but I agree that it's not really prudent at this time.  It causes more problems than it solves and is often used to justify a schismatic mentality, so I never use it except to define an abstract about the papacy.

I haven't heard what you said about marriages.  I was under the impression the petrine privelidge was to dissolve a valid but unconsecrated marriage.  Aside from the pauline privelidge, the Pope has no authority to dissolve a valid, consecrated marriage, any more than he has authority to change doctrine.  'What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.'  Including the Pope.
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Re: The Eastern Churches and St. Thomas Aquinas - by Melkite - 02-12-2012, 01:16 PM



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