Monday, September 25, 2006

Louis Bouyer's Doctrine of the Papacy: Towards an Orthodox/Roman Catholic Convergence?

Al Kimmel of Pontifications has a rather lengthy quote by Louis Bouyer on the meaning of the Petrine ministry of the papacy:

Does Louis Bouyer's doctrine of primacy converge with traditional Orthodox notions? Compare Bouyer's argument with that of Emmanuel Clapsis':

At issue, I think, is whether or not the Orthodox Church can allow a wider role for a restored papacy as the voice of the Church's unity.

Read Louis Bouyer's reflection on this issue (quoted in the Pontifications blog) and read the lengthy discussion this question is generating.

To tantalize you, here's an excerpt:

Catholic doctrine teaches, according to the texts of the First Vatican Council, corroborated and clarified by those of the Second, that the pope is no more an “Apostle” than the other bishops are. On the contrary, he is a bishop like the rest—a successor of the apostles in the very precise and defined sense that the others are. But as the bishop of the Roman Church, and like all the other bishops of Rome before him, the pope is a particular successor of Peter, who before he died had settled in Rome in the task to which he had been assigned from among the other apostles. This task was (and remains) keeping the Church and her development in unity by personally exercising (always within the college to which he belonged and in conjunction with it) the responsibilities which were (and are) those of the whole college. To be understood, this requires that we no more look at the pope as a “superbishop” than at Peter as a “super apostle.” Indeed, as we have seen, Peter’s unique role and function were not different from the duties of the apostolic college of which he was a part. His primacy was due to the fact that what was entrusted to all (including him) was first entrusted to him; even more, it was due to the fact that he received personally what all were to receive collectively. He was thereby called not to supplant, nor even to govern from above and without, the other apostles, but to express, guide, and foment their unity of action from within.

Read the rest here:

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