Three Popes and a Patriarch!

Discussion in 'Non-Anglican Discussion' started by Botolph, May 1, 2017.

Tags:
  1. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,248
    Likes Received:
    1,440
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    I thought I would share this as it seems significant to have some much heavyweight East and West in the one place. Bit sad about the sound guy in headphones. And the question might be are they happy to be there?

    https://khanya.wordpress.com/2017/04/30/three-popes-and-a-patriarch/

    [​IMG]
    Pope Theodoros II, Pope Francis I, Pope Tawhedros II, Patriarch Bartholomew

    A unique occasion ignored by the media — how often do you see three popes and a patriarch gathered together at the same place?

    Someone posted this picture last night on Facebook, with no caption, no comment. I expected to see some news item about it, perhaps with a better picture, but if there’s been one I haven’t seen it

    The three popes represent three different streams of Christianity that have been separated for hundreds of years, so seeing them all together in one place is quite something.

    Here’s some historical background:

    Some time in the first century St Mark arrived in Alexandria as a missionary for the then-new Christian faith. Alexandria had a large Jewish population then, and so he probably started among them. After his death Mark was succeeded as Bishop of Alexandria by Ananias (AD 61-82), Abilius (83-95), and so on. The historical record is sketchy, but the church grew among the Greeks and Romans and the native Egyptians. The Greeks had conquered Egypt under Alexander the Great, and ruled it for several hundred years (the Ptolemy dynasty), and they had in turn been conquered by the Romans.

    By the end of the second century the Holy Scriptures and liturgical texts were being translated into at least three vernacular languages, and the church had grown so much that more bishops were needed. It was about then that the bishops of Alexandria began using the title “Pope”, since theirs was the senior bishopric.

    Within the next hundred years or so, almost the entire Egyptian population was Christian. They had abandoned the religion of their ancestors (that of the Pharaohs) and become Christian. Many of the Greek and Roman population remained pagan, however. Over the next century (250-350) the monastic movement arose in the Egyptian deserts, and soon spread throughout the Christian world.

    In AD 451, however, at the Council of Chalcedon, there was a split. There was a dispute over the relationship between the divine and human natures of Christ. The council said one thing, and Pope Dioscurus of Alexandria said another. The council deposed Pope Dioscurus, and he was replaced by Proterius, who accepted the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon. The next Pope, Timothy, did not accept the decisions of the council, however, and for the next century the two parties, Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian, fought to have their candidate elected as Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria.

    In about 550, a century after the Council of Chalcedon, there was a final split, and since then there have been two Popes and Patriarchs of Alexandria — a Chalcedonian one and a non-Chalcedonian one. The Chalcedonian one remained in communion with the other churches that had accepted the Council of Chalcedon — Rome, Constantinople, Antioch and Jerusalem being the main ones, and it is referred to as the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate. The non-Chalcedonian one is referred to as the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate. So after Dioscurus, there are two separate lists of Popes and Patriarchs of Alexandria.

    In the 7th century Egypt was conquered by the Muslim Arabs. They favoured the Coptic Pope, because the Greek one was in communion with the Patriarch of Constantiniople, which was then the capital of the Roman Empire, which had ruled Egypt until the Arabs conquered it (not quite, there was also a brief Persian interlude). But all Christians in Egypt, no matter which Pope they supported, became second-class citizens under Muslim Arab rule.

    The Greek Orthodox Pope of Alexandria remained in communion with Rome (whose bishops had by now also assumed the title of Pope) until the 11th century, when there was a dispute between Rome and Constantinople, which led to a breach of communion between them. The breach was not healed, and eventually the churches of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem sided with Constantinople, and were no longer in communion with Rome.

    So the appearance of three popes and a patriarch together is something the like of which has probably not been seen since AD 550, if at all.

    Incidentally, the English version of the name of both popes of Alexandria is Theodore, and both are Theodore II.
     
  2. Madeline

    Madeline Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    140
    Likes Received:
    260
    Country:
    Canada
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Thank you so much for the church history. This interests me greatly - where we diverged, by how much, and how much our different cultures became hotbeds for later additions & accretions.
     
    Aidan, Christina and Lowly Layman like this.
  3. Christina

    Christina Active Member

    Posts:
    267
    Likes Received:
    222
    Country:
    England
    Religion:
    Anglican;Eastern Orthodox
    Thanks for the history - very interesting.

    They don't look too happy do they!
     
    Lowly Layman likes this.
  4. Madeline

    Madeline Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    140
    Likes Received:
    260
    Country:
    Canada
    Religion:
    Anglican
    :rofl:
     
    Christina and Lowly Layman like this.
  5. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    952
    Likes Received:
    603
    Country:
    N Ireland
    Religion:
    Traditional RomanCatholic
    Each is wondering why he must sit with these schismatics when in fact all traditions are at fault
     
    Botolph and Madeline like this.
  6. Madeline

    Madeline Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    140
    Likes Received:
    260
    Country:
    Canada
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Brilliant comment, Aidan!
     
  7. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    555
    Likes Received:
    602
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican
    I am glad to see these folks in the same room. That is a step forward, if a small one. . .

    I think my calling may be to bring unity to the Continuum. I haven't shared this with many folks but it is a passion of mine. I wish to see us present a unified orthodox voice. We cannot be a weird Anglo-Papist cult. We cannot be a collection of 70 year olds that like the old prayer book. We must aptly proclaim the Gospel. Unity must be on those terms - proclaiming Christ in word and sacrament. Then we will thrive; but until then, who knows what will come of us?
     
    alphaomega and Botolph like this.
  8. Madeline

    Madeline Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    140
    Likes Received:
    260
    Country:
    Canada
    Religion:
    Anglican
    I'm not 70 years old but I like the old prayer book. Or love it, rather.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
    Lowly Layman likes this.
  9. ACC congregant

    ACC congregant Member

    Posts:
    39
    Likes Received:
    25
    Country:
    USA
    A big step towards this may be the Synod in Atlanta in October with ACC, ACA, APA and DOTHC. Hey, gotta start somewhere. God bless you in your calling.