Friday, November 9, 2012
Mater et Magistra Ecclesiarum
In Roman Catholicism, Rome claims that title, espacially Our Savour's Basilica in the Lateran. The inauguration of which we celebrate today.
In the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem you will find the claim Meter tôn Ecclesiôn on the homepage.
The simplest way to state the similarity and difference between RC and GO ecclesiology is this:
On Pentecost Day and thereafter Jerusalem was the first Church and became mother to other Churches, first of which being Samaria. That era St Peter was chief of the Church of Jerusalem. He does not bear the title "first bishop of Jerusalem", that is rather his de facto successor there, St James the Smaller or the Brother of Our Lord, but he episcopated there before anyone else did.
Then he left Jerusalem. He died as chief of Rome. He bears the title first bishop of Rome, even if St Paul de facto episcopated there before he did.
Roman Catholicism claims he remained chief of the whole Church as it grew into different local Churches and that Rome is Mother of the Churches.
This is exactly what Greek Orthodox typically deny.
That their own champion Photius the Great got into a conflict with Rome because he very Papistically appealed to Rome is one thing they might deal with saying "oh, but the truth remained episcopal and remained accessible in another part of the Church, like Antioch".
Well, Antioch and Alexandria seem to be Patriarchates far more Monarchic, far more Papistic thus, than Constantinople.
But another thing: Jerusalem was destroyed.
One can imagine either that Rome became Mother of Churches when it became St Peter's See or that it became so due to Jerusalem, previously such, being destroyed.
Between year 70 and St Helen's retrieval of Holy Cross, Jerusalem was not a proper place to conduct the governance of Churches from. Rome was.
Georges Pompidou Library
St Saviour's Basilica of Lateran's
Inauguration, which same is
Mother and Head of Churches