Firstly, I [i:3ri5chq7]said[/i:3ri5chq7] that there was a Papal primacy – I am not of the extremist almost Protestant persuasion you find in some Orthodox circles, OK? Primacy is not the issue, it is the kind of monarchical authority claimed by the Pope. Such never was, and never will be accepted by any of the Sees Rome split with. I have to ask here, what diference this even makes to you? Why do you care? Why must your bishop have the ability to sack mine? It makes no sense to me at all and I tried asking Scott this in another forum but he declined to answer.
For almost a thousand years no Pope ever directly interfered in the affairs of an eastern See. When Rome did interfere with Constantinople all the other Sees rallied to the EP’s side (as they did when Rome excommunicated the EP) and not the Pope’s. Clearly they didn’t think the Pope was in the right here. Yes you can find examples of the Pope being viewed as an authority – however this was the kind of elder brother, moral authority of a chief servant not the tyrannical authority of an absolute monarch. The former I would accept, the latter never. Many of the Patristic quotes I’ve seen before are not read in at all the same way by Orthodox as by Rome so, as with all proof-texting, we’d be merely arguing opinions, but by all means bring some up for discussion.
Now, if I am being asked to read RC apologetic books then I must ask that you read at least one thing from our side of the argument, this one written by a Roman Catholic who later became Orthodox. Let me know if you are up for the challenge. You can find it here:
I would note that I am a layman but I am not ignorant, I do have some knowledge of Patristics, Church history and theology and I am certainly not the Protestant I once was who hated all things Roman. Many, many RCs have tried to convince me of the Patristic case for the current Papacy and none have come close to succeeding. I actually considered the RCC when I was returning to Christianity and it was this issue above all others that convinced me it was NOT the Church Christ founded. By all means, though, have another try. Don’t get your hopes up about a reunification any time soon, though, because hell will freeze over before I or any other Orthodox will accept a Papal monarchy.