Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Jerusalem debacle

Magister discusses the reform of the procedure of the Synod of Bishops and then contrasts the Western institutions with those in the East, leading into a look at the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the upheaval that has been going on there for quite awhile.

First, the reform:
The opposite took place in the Roman Church. There, papal primacy was greatly strengthened during the second millennium. Benedict XVI – together with the cardinals who elected him – is convinced that the time has come to strike a balance of powers and give greater recognition to the role of the bishops.

A small first corrective measure has already been introduced into the synod Rome is planning for next October. The synod – an institution inaugurated by Paul VI after Vatican Council II, periodically gathering around the pope representatives of the Catholic bishops from all over the world – will remain a consultative rather than a deliberative body, but the bishops will be able to discuss their topic, the Eucharist, using procedures much better adapted to bringing out different points of view, which the pope will have to consider.

Benedict XVI hopes that by reinforcing the college of the bishops, he will heal the schism that has divided the Church of Rome from the Eastern Churches. He wants to bring the respective systems of governance closer together according to the best that each has produced throughout its history.

On the election of a new patriarch:
The Israeli government, in fact, has not yet recognized the dismissal of Ireneos from his office, unlike Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, which have approved it.

And this is another difference in comparison with the Church of Rome. In the East, the Orthodox patriarchs have ties with the respective national governments that go back to the "caesaro-papist" model typical of the Byzantine Empire, which remained in force even after the arrival of Muslim domination.

In the case of the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, both his removal and his election must be approved by Israel, the kingdom of Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority.

Read the complete article (and the accompanying essay) The Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Is Being Replaced. How the Vatican Is Voting from www.chiesa.

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