How Did the Eastern Bishops of the First Millennium View the Papal Claims?

Roman Catholic historian Fr Richard Price is probably the leading living authority on the Great Ecumenical Councils. His translations of the extant acts of the councils—specifi­cally, Ephesus, Chalcedon, Constantinople II, and Nicaea II (as well as the 649 Lateran Synod)—are immeasurably valuable contributions to modern scholarship.

Over the past year, the folks at Reason and Theology have invited Fr Price to discuss the councils. During two of the interviews he was asked how the Eastern bishops viewed papal supremacy. The blogger at Orthodoxidation has summarized his responses and provided the relevant video clips:


  1. The East did not recognize nor “believe” papal infallibility nor papal supremacy. The East did want to maintain good relations with Old Rome.
  2. The East regarded the Bishop of Rome as a “senior bishop” out of respect for his office.
  3. The East did not require papal ratification for Ecumenical Synods, nor did the East believe that any Ecumenical Synods required affirmation by the Bishop of Rome to be validated. The East wanted Old Rome’s approval so that decrees could be merely “circulated in the West” by Old Rome–to be of one mind.
  4. The East believed the Emperor called Ecumenical Synods and instituted their decrees as law, as “God’s co-ruler” and as the “Guardian of the Church.”
  5. The Eastern provinces did not recognize Old Rome’s jurisdiction.

You can watch the video clips here:

I have closed the combox, given the contentious nature of the subject. I’m too old for flame wars. 😎

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1 Response to How Did the Eastern Bishops of the First Millennium View the Papal Claims?

  1. Pingback: Rev. Dr. Richard Price speaks on Papal Authority and the Byzantine Reception in the 1st Millennium – Which Side Stands to Gain? | Erick Ybarra

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