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Musings 2007/219

them inheritance among their brethren. 20 42 16  And Job lived after these things, a hundred and forty years, and he saw his children, and his children's children, unto the fourth generation, and he died an old man, and full of days. P
The Church is also like Christ, being His Mystical Body.
It seems to me that The Church has lived Her Life, as did Jesus, and that She has been scourged and crucified and virtually dead, what with communism in one part of the world and modernism in the other, both manipulated for the same disaster for humanity.
It certainly seemed during the past century, that The Church was indeed dead and buried.

Therefore, surely The Church
is at the third day in the tomb
and that The Church is due for
Her resurrection?

And so, the question remains Where is the Era of Peace?
It seems to me - as it has seemed to me for a decade or two - that The Era of Peace is just around the corner!!!
In the Statement of Joint Catholic-Orthodox Commission of the 15th. November, we read:- 41. Further, they agree that Rome, as The Church that 'presides in love' according to the phrase of St. Ignatius of Antioch (To The Romans, Prologue),

occupied the first place in the taxis,
and that the Bishop of Rome was therefore
the protos among the Patriarchs.

(Refer Heartsare 218, page 15.)
The paragraph continues:-
They disagree however, on the interpretation of the historical evidence from this era regarding the prerogatives of the Bishop of Rome as protos, a matter that was already understood in different ways in the first millennium.
As for the meaning of protos, we get the picture (in the view of the document) in the following paragraph of the document:-
24. A canon accepted in the East as in the West, expresses the relationship between the local Churches of a region: "The bishops of each province (ethnos) must recognize the one who is first (protos) amongst them, and consider him to be their head (kephale), and not do anything important without his consent (gnome); each bishop may only do what concerns his own diocese (paroikia) and its dependent territories.
But the first (protos) cannot do anything without the consent of all. For in this way concord (homonoia) will prevail, and God will be praised through the Lord in the Holy Spirit" (Apostolic Canon 34).
In paragraph 20, we see protos in a slightly different light, where it concerns the Bishop:-
Synodality, however, also involves all the members of the community

in obedience to the bishop,

who is the protos and head (kephale) of the local Church, required by ecclesial communion. In keeping with Eastern and Western traditions, the active participation of the laity, both men and women, of monastics and consecrated persons, is effected in the diocese and the parish through many forms of service and mission.
And we get a clearer picture:-
44. In the history of the East and of the West, at least until the ninth century, a series of prerogatives was recognised, always in the context of conciliarity, according to the conditions of the times, for the protos or kephale at each of the established ecclesiastical levels:
locally, for the bishop as protos of his diocese with regard to his presbyters and people;
regionally, for the protos of each metropolis with regard to the bishops of his province, and for the protos of each of the five patriarchates, with regard to the metropolitans of each circumscription;
and universally, for the bishop of Rome as protos among the patriarchs.
This distinction of levels does not diminish the sacramental equality of every bishop or the catholicity of each local Church.
I have mentioned herein, previously, that humility is the great problem regarding unity.
There is no doubt that the Bishop of Rome is the universal leader of Christendom. The above-mentioned quotations clearly state that the Pope is first amongst the Patriarchs.
While there is discussion on just what this means,

this discussion is really meaningless.

If for example, we look at the protos of the Bishop - is the joint commission suggesting that the Bishop can not act unless he has the approval of his presbyters and people? (paragraph 44)
I can understand the Joint Commission discussing the early Church and quoting from the Fathers. No doubt the Church Fathers are
normally correct in what they say, even if they do not have the Gift of Infallibility - as does the Pope.
It is probably indigestible at this stage of the Joint Commission, to discuss the Truth of The Gospel:-
P  47 16 15  Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am? 47 16 16 Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. 47 16 17  And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven.

47 16 18  And I say to thee:
That thou art Peter; and upon this rock
I will build my church, and the gates of hell
shall not prevail against it.

47 16 19  And I will give to thee

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