My Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
THE SCHISM OF THE ROMAN CHURCH
By John N. Karmiris, Professor of Theology in the
The University of Athens.
Among the opponents and adversaries of the Orthodox Catholic Church of the East, the Papacy very early took its place. By the word Papacy we meant the tendency of the bishops of Rome, which is foreign to the genuine spirit of Christianity, towards ABSOLUTE CONCENTRATION OF ALL THE POWERS AND PROPERTIES OF THE CHURCH–even up to the point OF INFALLIBILITY–IN ONE RULER AND THE EXERCISE BY HIM OF TYRANNICAL GOVERNMENT AND SOVEREIGNTY OVER THE WHOLE CHURCH OF CHRIST. In addition, the term implies all the accompanying innovations of the bishops of Rome IN ADMINISTRATION, WORSHIP AND FAITH OF THE CHURCH, moreover, it means the appropriation by the Papacy OF POLITICAL, NAMELY WORLDLY POWER. This tendency appeared early in the ancient Church. but because she was entangled in hard struggles AGAINST HERETICS AND OTHER ENEMIES, INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL, she did not hasten to suppress it in its genesis. The fact that it was expressed in the West, on the other hand, offered suitable ground for its growth for various reasons, but above all because of its distance from the Greek East, which WAS THE CENTER OF ALL ECCLESIASTICA, POLITICAL, AND INTELLECTUAL MOVEMENTS, and because AT THAT TIME THE PEOPLES OF THE WEST WERE UNCIVILIZED. In addition, the fact that there existed only one apostolic throne in the West, that of Rome, gave this tendency ground for development. It as natural for Rome to become a great ecclesiastical center, as it already had become a political one. The Eastern Church, in which THE GREAT DOGMATICAL AND ECCLESIASTICAL STRUGGLES WERE TAKING PLACE AT THIS TIME AS A RESULT GAVE TO CHRISTIANITY ITS DEFINITE AND PERMANENT FORM, WAS NOT TOUCHED IMMEDIATELY BY THE ABSOLUTE PAPAL AMBITIONS. For this reason, she did not react, effectively in time against the pursuits of the bishops of Rome, which in the beginning were put forward in the East in the form of a simple claim TO HONORARY PRIMACY. In this way, the Papacy found the opportunity TO IMPOSE ITSELF ON THE ENTIRE WESTERN CHURCH AND TO STRENGTHEN ITS POSITION DURING THE FIRST EIGHT CENTURIES. When it thought itself SUFFICIENTLY STRONG, IT ATTEMPTED TO EXTEND ITS SOVEREIGNTY EVEN OVER THE Eastern Church during THE LATTER HALF OF THE 9th CENTURY, TAKING ADVANTAGE ON THE ONE HAND OF THE WEAKNESS DUE TO HER SUBJUGATION BY MOHAMMEDANISM (TURKISH ENSLAVEMENT FOR FOUR AND OTHERS FIVE CENTURIES), and of the DECLINE OF THE THREE ANCIENT PATRIARCHATES OF THE East–ALEXANDRIA, ANTIOCH, AND JERUSALEM, on the other hand, of its POLITICAL EMANCIPATION FROM THE BYZANTINE EMPERORS AND ITS ALLIANCE WITH THE FRANKISH RULERS OF THE West, through the aid of whom the Papacy had already obtained political power. The theory of the two swords and the papal primacy was thus shaped.
In this manner, there was somehow created in the Church A NEW DEGREE IN THE PRIESTHOOD, THAT OF THE POPE, WHO BEING CONSIDERED AS "EPISCOPUS EPISCOPORUM", and "EPISCOPUS UNIVERSALIS" and source of the Priesthood, CENTRALIZES THE HIGHEST ECCLESIASTICAL AND WORLDLY POWER AND STANDS ABOVE ALL THE HIERARCHS AND PATRIARCHS AND EVEN OVER THE ECUMENICAL SYNODS; THE POPE IS THE VISIBLE HEAD AND RULER OF THE WHOLE CHURCH ON EARTH, HAVING THE "PLENAM ET SUPREMAM POTESTATEM JURISDICTIONIS IN UNIVERSAM ECCLESIAM" WHEN HE SPEAKS "EX CATHEDRA" AND DEFINES THE TEACHING WHICH OUGHT TO BE OBSERVED BY THE WHOLE CHURCH IN FAITH AND MORALS "EA INFALLIBILITATE POLLERE QUA DEVINUS Redemptor Ecclesiam suam in definienda dotrina de fied vel moribus istructam esse voluit", as the Vatican Synod dogmatized in the past century, So in this way, the ancient simple honorary primacy of the bishop of Rome WAS PERVERTED AND CHANGED INTO A PRIMACY OF JURISDICTION THAT WAS EEN COMPLETED AND CROWNED WITH INFALLIBILITY. Of course, these FABRICATIONS OF THE LATINS, which are CONTRARY TO THE LETTER AND TO THE SPIRIT OF THE Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition, were able to find reception ONLY IN THE WEST and NOT IN THE GREEK ORTHODOX EAST which was the FIRST TEACHER OF CHRISTIANITY AND CIVILIZATION. For this reason, it is obvious that as soon as the MONARCHY AND ABSOLUTISM OF THE Pope, thus developed and enforced in the Western Church (Roman Catholic), would attempt to spread out OVER THE INDEPENDENT AND FREE Eastern Church, it would INEVITABLY LEAD TO CONFLICT AND SCHISM OF THE TWO CHURCHES, THE RESPONSIBILITY RESTING WITH THE Roman (Latin) Church.
Moreover, the Papacy was not content with changing the organizations of the Church alone, but ventured also to introduce DOGMATICAL AND LITURGICAL INNOVATIONS THAT WERE UNKNOWN IN THE ANCIENT CHURCH. Thus, she innovated in the celebration of the Sacraments of BAPTISM, CHRISM, AND HOLY EUCHARIST EVEN UP TO THE POINT OF TOUCHING THE DOGMATICAL TEACHINGS OF THE ANCIENT CHURCH. But that which clashed more against the dogmatical conscience of the Orthodox was the addition OF THE "FILIOQUE" CLAUSE TO THE CREED, which IN FORM WAS ANTI-CANONICAL AND IN SUBSTANCE ERRONEOUS. This clause contains the new Latin teaching OF THE PROCESSION OF THE Holy Spirit "AND FROM THE SON," WHICH WAS CHARACTERIZED BY Saint Photios, Patriarch of Constantinople, AS AN "HERETICAL BELIEF", "ATHEISTIC OPINION" and "BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT, OR RATHER AGAINST THE HOLY TRINITY" and the "APEX OF EVILS."
(To be continued)
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God