Rome: Catholic and Orthodox theologians discuss papal primacy

Source: FSSPX News


An international meeting on the theme of the primacy of the Pope will take place behind closed doors in May at the Vatican. Even if infallibility cannot be called into question, the way in which the Pope exercises his power could draw its inspiration from the Orthodox patriarchs. This meeting has been organized by Cardinal Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for the Unity of Christians. It is the first such meeting initiated by the Vatican which questions the doctrine of the primacy of the Pope, even if numerous discussions of this type have already taken place within ecumenical dialogue groups. And if the next symposium gathers only Orthodox experts, it is partly because the dialogue with this “sister Church” has made noticeable progress these past few months. Furthermore, the Vatican asserts that “the example of an eventual unity with the Orthodox would certainly favor a reconciliation with the other Christian churches”. In his encyclical Ut unum sint, published in May 1995, John Paul II himself asked that the experts “find a way of exercising the primacy” which, while preserving the “essential of his mission”, “would open up to a new situation”.

This kind of encounters is not harmless and represents a danger to the Catholic faith: let us not forget that six Protestant theologians took part in the making of the Novus Ordo: we can see the result. We certainly have not reached that stage yet, but these Orthodox theologians are not in Rome to twiddle their thumbs: the current “dialogue” mentality of today’s Church, and the “mutual enrichment”, which is so much sought after, will result in necessarily ambiguous formulae or half truths, such as can be found in the Balamand Declaration with the Orthodox, or again, in the agreement with the Protestants on justification. Besides, these “steps forward” provide a key to interpret the acts which, at least in some respects, seem to return to a more traditional theology – such as the encyclical on the Eucharist – and they lessen their significance. Unless they be the outward manifestations of the important differences within the Roman dicasteries and of the freedom given to those who do nothing but demolish among whom is the present president of the Pontifical Council for the Unity of Christians.