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Orthodox Constructions of the West$
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George E. Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823251926

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823251926.001.0001

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Primacy and Ecclesiology: The State of the Question

Primacy and Ecclesiology: The State of the Question

(p.229) Primacy and Ecclesiology: The State of the Question
Orthodox Constructions of the West

John Panteleimon Manoussakis

Fordham University Press

This chapter aims at opening the question regarding the place of primacy in Orthodox ecclesiology anew. It offers concrete examples as well as a number of theological arguments in defense of the ministry of a primus in all three levels of the Church's organization (local, eparchial, and universal), arguing that such a ministry can only be exercised by a person. The chapter discusses various alternatives to personal primacy—the rule of faith or worship, the ecumenical councils, Christ as the head of the Church—while noting their shortcomings in fulfilling this vital function for ecclesial life. While Orthodox theology has defended personal primacy for the local and regional Church, it has failed to do so in the universal level for reasons that are more in line with a psychological anti–Catholicism than the Orthodox Church's own theology.

Keywords:   Primacy, Primus, Orthodox ecclesiology, Authority, John Zizioulas, Antipapism, Personhood, Orthodox–Catholic dialogue

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