What Does Rome Need To Do? - Part 1

June 20, 2014 Length: 39:28

As promised in his last episode, Fr. Thomas shares with us the paper he wrote in 2005 outlining what the Roman Catholic Church would need to do to unite with the Orthodox. He broke it up into two parts and this is part one.

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In a recent podcast on Ancient Faith Radio I reflected on the meetings between the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Pope Francis of Rome. I reflected a bit upon their meeting in Jerusalem, celebrating the meeting of Athenagoras and Paul VI 50 years ago and about subsequent activities between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Pope of Rome. I mentioned in that podcast that in 2005 I was invited to a meeting, a conference, in Washington, D.C., about re-imagining the papacy in our time. Those who called this conference, Roman Catholic theologians from Woodstock, and the conference was held at Georgetown, brought together Christians of various church denominations to say what they thought would be required of the Bishop of Rome and the Roman Catholic Church for their churches to recognize the leadership of the Pope of Rome in Christianity on a global level. I was invited to that on behalf, so to speak, of Orthodoxy, or at least give my own opinion of what I thought the Orthodox Church would require, and I did that.

I never had a chance to deliver this paper. It wasn’t read. The leaders of the meeting read the papers, but there were seven or eight or more of people speaking: I from the Orthodox Church, there were some Roman Catholic also, but there were Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Society of Friends, Quakers, who spoke on this subject: what would it take for them and their churches to recognize the Pope of Rome as the leader of world Christianity. We only had ten minutes or so to present our view, each one of us, and we didn’t go into any depth, but I did have this paper. It was never published. The acts of this meeting were not published, and I’m not sure whether the other folks actually had written-out papers or not that they had sent in, but I did, and I have it, and it was in 2005 in September.

That’s a while ago, of course—nine years it’ll be—but in any case I wanted to share it with the readers of Ancient Faith Radio. I haven’t done that until now anywhere, but since there’s great discussion and reflection on the relationship between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, and very particularly upon the activities of the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Pope of Rome in our time, Bartholomew and Francis, I thought that I would just read this on Ancient Faith Radio, and people could just do with it what they like. They could think of what I said. In some sense, it’s a fantasy. It’s kind of like an ecclesiological fantasy of what could be imagined for the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church to be in communion with each other, in sacramental communion and in fact be in the same Church. It’s a little bit of a fantasy because so many things seem to be so out of the question that they’re just unreal. I’m pretty sure that is the truth, actually.

But in any case, I’ll share what I prepared for that meeting, and it maybe will contribute to the discussion of this issue. I think it’ll contribute even if people are radically opposed to what I say or have really serious questions about it. We have to say what we think, and this is what I think on this particular subject. I was asked by Ancient Faith Radio to share this, and that’s what I’m going to do right now. I’m going to do it in two parts, because it’ll take a bit of time, especially if I comment on what I said. It’ll take a bit of time, so today I’ll do the first part which was the beginning of the paper, with some historical considerations, and then I will, in the next podcast, read the concrete suggestions about doctrine and liturgy, worship, Church structure, that I think would be necessary for Eastern Orthodox to recognize the Bishop of Rome as the first among Christian bishops, the leader, the president, his church as the presiding church, the Roman Church, and standing, so to speak, in public as the leader of Christianity on earth.

So in any case, here it is. I called the paper, “Roman Presidency and Christian Unity in Our Time.” And this is what I wrote.

The Church of Rome held a special place of honor among the earliest Christian churches. It was first among the communities that recognized each others as catholic churches holding the orthodox faith concerning God’s Gospel in Jesus. According to St. Ignatius the God-bearer, the Bishop of Antioch who died a martyr’s death in Rome around the year 110, according to Ignatius, his words are, “The Church which presides in the territories of the Romans” was “a Church worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of felicitation, worthy of praise, worthy of success, worthy of sanctification, and presiding in love, maintaining the law of Christ, bearer of the Father’s name.” And that’s in the opening greeting of his epistle to the Romans, St. Ignatius of Antioch, in the very beginning of the second century.

The Roman Church held this place of honor and exercised a “presidency in love” among the first Christian churches for two reasons. It was founded on the teaching and blood of the foremost Christian apostles, Peter and Paul, and it was the church of the capital city of the Roman Empire that then constituted the “civilized world, ecumene.” According to St. Irenaeus of Lyons, the first bishop of Rome—St. Irenaeus, I should mention here, was an early Christian apologist and one of the first theologians living in the third century, end of second—St. Irenaeus of Lyons said that the first bishop of Rome was a certain Linus, a man named Linus. He was technically Rome’s first bishop, since the apostles were not overseers, that is, bishops, of local churches. Their unique and universal apostolic ministry, particularly that of the twelve apostles, led by Peter, was to be foundation-stones of God’s household, as eyewitnesses and servants of the risen Lord, the Church’s cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20).

Here I have a note on this in my paper. I refer to St. Irenaeus—Irenaeus of Lyons, Against the Heresies, Book III—where he writes:

The blessed apostles, Peter and Paul, then, having founded and built up the Church of Rome, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. To him succeeded Anacletus, and after him in the third place from the apostles Clement was allotted the episcopate.

Irenaeus completes his list of Roman bishops with his contemporary bishop at the time, Eleftherius, “who holds the inheritance of the episcopate in Rome in the twelfth place from the apostles.” Then I write: Some scholars claim that it is impossible firmly to determine the existence of one bishop in the city of Rome until the early third century. They see a number of eucharistic communities coexisting in this city, each with its own “episcopal” or overseeing governing leader, without a clear “primate” among them. I also refer to the book, The Primacy of Peter: Essays in Ecclesiology and the Early Church, edited by Fr. John Meyendorff, St. Vladimir’s Press 1992, and particularly the Veselin Kesich’s article on “Peter’s Primacy in [the] New Testament and the Early Tradition.” I also mention that we should see the insightful chapters on the Church and the episcopate with commentary on the dogmas of the papacy defined at Vatican I in Sergius Bulgakov’s book, The Orthodox Church; English translation came out in 1988 by St. Vladimir’s Press.

So what we are saying here is that it is simply not true that Peter was the first bishop of Rome. A man named Linus was the first bishop of Rome. Now I continue in my paper: Linus and the bishops of Rome who followed him, many of whom are canonized saints, of the Orthodox Church as well as of the Roman Church, were successors of the apostles together with all orthodox bishops in catholic churches. They were also, like all bishops with whom they held the Church’s one episcopate in solidum, an expression of St. Cyprian of Carthage, who lived also in the third century, successors of Peter. They were all successors of Peter because they all confessed Peter’s faith that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:18).

Here I refer to interpretations, early interpretations of Matthew 16:13-23, “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church,” and John 21:15-23, where the risen Lord says to Peter who had denied him three times, three times, “Do you love me? Feed my sheep.” It was a kind of reinstatement as the leadership of the Twelve. The interpretations that are found in Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Rome, Irenaeus, Origen, Tertullian, Cyprian of Carthage, and others… So this book, The Primacy of Peter, is a very important book for this particular subject. In fact, I think sometimes everything that needs to be known and said is found in that particular book. In any case, I continue in my paper.

Like all catholic bishops holding the orthodox faith, the bishops of the Roman Church receive the Holy Spirit through the apostolic laying on of hands, cheirotonia, to “bind and loose human sins” (Matthew 16 and John 20). They did this by preaching God’s Gospel in Christ, teaching sound doctrine, conducting right worship, shepherding the faithful, caring for the poor and needy, regardless of their belief or behavior, and generally safeguarding “what had been entrusted to them,” “the good depositum”—bonum depositum in Latin, kalē parakatathēkē in Greek—that dwelt in them “through the Holy Spirit.” And that’s a quotation of 1 Timothy 6 and 2 Timothy 1 in the New Testament.

Now, these bishops also supervised the baptisms of repenting believers into Christ in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. They sealed the newly baptized with the gift of the Holy Spirit. They fed them the bread of life, that is Jesus himself (John 6), God’s incarnate Word, through their preaching and their teaching. And they nourished the faithful with Christ’s body and blood at the eucharistic meal that anticipates the marriage-supper of Christ, the Lamb of God, in God’s coming kingdom at the end of this age. I continue.

The orthodox bishops in catholic churches—and I keep using that expression, because there were plenty of bishops who were not orthodox in faith and their churches were not catholic according to the understanding of us Orthodox and the Roman Catholics, and even the Protestants; there were plenty of writings that were not canonized; they didn’t become part of the official witness of the Church. There were always churches around that were unorthodox and that were deformed in some way. Anyway, I write here: The orthodox bishops in catholic churches also had the duty to reunite those who strayed and to reconcile believing sinners to Christ through appropriate therapeutic penances. They were also obliged to defend the Christian faith against heretical teachers, most of whom were originally brother bishops. They rebuked and corrected erring and evil secular rulers. They made apologies for the Gospel to non-Christians, and they represented their churches in the societies in which they lived. In a word, all Christian bishops were ordained to preserve the unity, identity, integrity, solidarity, continuity, unanimity, and harmony of Christ’s Church and ministry on earth till the Lord’s coming.

But the Roman bishops were to do so, as we have already noted, in a unique and special way, both for those within the Church and those outside it, because they were the overseers of the church founded by Christ’s preeminent apostles, Peter and Paul, that was located in the capital of the empire that was then identified with the whole “civilized world, ecumene,” in the city, Rome, that symbolized “the end of the earth.” Acts 1 says that the Gospel will be preached to the end of the earth, and symbolically that was understood in the earliest Church as Rome. Once it reached Rome, it hit the end of the earth, so to speak. I continue.

Because of its unique place among the Christian churches, the Church of Rome in the person of its bishop was soon tempted to assume powers, prerogatives, and privileges among the churches beyond those belonging to its ministry to preside among them in love. The temptation to assume a special authoritative status among the churches, beyond loving presidential leadership, did not go unchallenged. We see attempts to control this tendency, for example, by such great bishops as St. Cyprian of Carthage in North Africa in the third century and St. Photius the Great of Constantinople in the ninth century and perhaps, most especially, by Pope St. Gregory the Great of Rome itself, who in the sixth century formulated his celebrated definition of a Christian bishop as “the servant of the servants of God—servus servorum Dei,” in Latin, in his powerful polemic against the bishop of Constantinople, the New Rome, for adopting the title “Ecumenical.”

Now what is being said here is that, in the sixth century, the Archbishop of Constantinople adopted the title, “Ecumenical,” for the firs time. He was called the Ecumenical Bishop, and Pope St. Gregory the Great was violently opposed to this. In his writings, this is what he said. He said that “the usurpation of this proud and foolish title” is a “contradiction to the grace that is poured out on all of us in common.” St. Gregory calls it a “sin against the whole Church” since, “by reason of this execrable title of pride, the Church is rent asunder, the hearts of the brethren are provoked to scandal.” That’s found in Letter XVIII to John, Bishop of Constantinople. Also Letter XIX, to the Deacon Sabinianus, Pope Gregory says that “to assent to this title is nothing less than to lose the faith.” Letter XX, to Mavricius Augustus, he writes: We see one cannot fail to notice that St. Gregory says nothing about special powers and privileges of his Roman Church nor of his office as Pope of Rome.

One can only wonder what St. Gregory would think of the modern imperial papacy and the dogmas concerning the Pope of Rome defined at Vatican I and Vatican II. Pope John Paul II, of course, applies the title “servant of the servants of God” to himself in his encyclical on ecumenism called, “Ut Unum Sint,” that came out in the 1990s. So I continue reading here, and this is very important, because the Pope of Rome is criticizing Constantinople for adopting the title, “Ecumenical.”

Fr. John Meyendorff used to teach that it really didn’t mean what the pope thought it meant, because in the city of Constantinople which was the imperial city, the New Rome, every high office was called “Ecumenical.” The chief judge was the ecumenical judge, the chief librarian was the ecumenical librarian, the chief physician was the ecumenical physician, the highest military officer was the ecumenical general, and the head of the Church was the ecumenical archbishop. So maybe Pope St. Gregory really didn’t understand what was being claimed here, and claiming that it claimed much too much, but his really very violent reaction, that this is a betrayal of the faith itself and a sin against the whole Church, that’s something we should consider today, I think, very seriously.

Now, continuing on what I have written here: The temptation to usurp unwarranted hierarchical authority and administrative control over all the world’s Christians was too powerful to be resisted by the Roman bishops through history, not only because of Rome’s legitimately unique status among the churches, but also because Rome was the only “apostolic see” in the Western half of the “ecumene, the civilized world.” And that was a teaching that grew up in Rome, that Rome was the apostolic see, and you were only truly an apostolic see if you were founded by Peter, and according to even Gregory himself, there were only three such sees: Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria. None of the rest were considered apostolic sees. However, as I write in the paper, in the East, on the other hand, practically every little church could justify a claim to be an “apostolic see.” In other words, how many churches in the East were founded by apostles, even the Apostle Paul and Peter! I continue now in my paper.

The unique authority of the Bishop of Rome over all other churches and their bishops was gradually developed and defended by applying certain interpretations of scriptural passages about Peter’s first place among the apostles to the Pope of Rome’s first place among the bishops. So the idea was, as Peter was first among the apostles, so the Pope of Rome is first among the bishops. This presumed authority of the Bishop of Rome was also bolstered by references to allegedly historical documents affirming that particular view that were later proven to be inventions designed for this purpose. Here I have the note: I have here in mind such forgeries as the Donatio Constantini in the fourth century and the Isidorian Decretals later. In other words, there were documents that claimed Rome had this special authority, which everybody today recognizes were simply forged documents; they were not authentic historical documents. They were made to bolster the position of Rome within the Church, the Church of Rome.

So I write: The presumed authority of the Bishop of Rome was also bolstered by references to allegedly historical documents that were later proven to be inventions designed for this purpose, and it was shaped and developed by countless cultural and political events that produced the schism between the Roman Church and the Eastern Orthodox churches and later brought about the Protestant Reformation in the West, and so also the Roman reaction to the Reformation in the Counter-Reformation that made the papacy what it is today. Although the elaboration and development of what we have come to call the “imperial papacy” was not, as we have noted, without its opponents, even within the Roman Church. And there was the whole conciliar controversy about what has the ultimate last word. Is it a council or is it the pope? And historically, of course, the view that it was the pope is what won out in the Western Church.

What we see here is: although the elaboration and development of what we have come to call the “imperial papacy” was not, as we have noted, without its opponents even within the Roman Church, the current understanding and practice of the so-called Petrine ministry—that’s a word applied to the Pope of Rome’s place in the Church, the Petrine ministry reached its historical apex in the dogmatic decrees about the pope’s position and power promulgated by Vatican Council I that were slightly modified but not at all essentially changed by Vatican Council II. Here I have a note at this point about the teaching in Vatican Council II. Vatican II’s teaching about episcopal collegiality is neither helpful nor accurate from a traditional Orthodox point of view. Vatican II thought that the “college of bishops,” the Collegium altogether, in other words, all the bishops on earth, governed the universal Church together with the Pope of Rome and under his leadership and guidance. So that view is that the bishops govern over the universal Church, headed by the Pope of Rome as the “universal bishop.”

Orthodox would hold that the college of bishops does not govern the universal Church together with the Pope of Rome or anybody else, including the Ecumenical Patriarchate, under his leadership and guidance. Each bishop governs his own church and gives an account of his governance to his brother bishops within his own regional synod. There is no universal episcopal authority within or without the Roman Pope. There is no universal episcopal authority over the universal Church, just as no “college of apostles” governed the apostolic Church under the leadership and authority of Peter in the very beginning. So here I say that the idea that the bishops together with the Pope govern all the Church on earth—that’s not true. The bishops govern their own dioceses, then together they meet with each other in council to see if they affirm the same faith, the same worship, and the same structure, hopefully, with one another. So I continue in my paper here.

The Roman Church’s current official teaching about papal privilege and power that are unacceptable to the Eastern Orthodox churches are the dogma of the Pope’s infallibility when speaking officially from the Chair of Peter, ex cathedra Petri, on matters of faith and morals. Then you have this line, “Ex sese et non [autem] ex consensu ecclesiae,” in the decree; it either means, “From himself and not from the consensus of the Church,” or that his statements are in themselves, from themselves, infallible and authoritative, not from the consensus of the Church. “Ex sese et non ex consensu ecclesiae.” I continue.

The binding character of the Pope’s infallible decrees on all Christians, and certainly all Catholics now—not Orthodox or Protestants—in the world, the Pope’s direct episcopal jurisdiction over all Christians in the world—certainly all Catholic Christians—the Pope’s authority to appoint and so also to depose the bishops of all Christian (nowadays Roman Catholic) churches and those united to Rome, and the affirmation that the legitimacy and authority of all Christian bishops in the world, certainly those in unity with Rome, derive from their union with the Roman see and its bishop, the supreme pontiff, the unique successor of Peter, and the vicar of Christ on earth. So what was denied by the Orthodox that was dogma in Vatican II is that the Pope in certain conditions speaks infallibly on faith and morals and must be received as infallible. This comes from himself or in themselves and not from a Church consensus, and the same authorities give the Pope direct episcopal jurisdiction over every Christian in the world, including all the other bishops, whom he appoints and puts into office, and can depose by his own authority. That is the teaching and practice of the Roman Catholic Church today.

Now I continue here, bringing it up to date. The revolutionary advances in technology in the last century, the 20th century, that coincided with such traumatic events as the World Wars, the rise and fall of Communism, the Jewish Holocaust, the most severe and widespread persecution of Christians in history, and the inner decay of Christianity especially, excuse me, Protestantism, under the various secularizing forces of Western society strongly contributed to the Pope of Rome’s position as the leader of Christianity in the modern and now post-modern world. The papacy as we now know it is not simply the result, as Marshall McLuhan would have it, of the invention of the phonetic alphabet in the Greco-Latin world shortly before Christ’s birth that shaped early Western Christianity and the later invention of the printing press that produced the Protestant Reformation in the West and so also the Counter-Reformation that solidified the imperial papacy that was theologically and politically created in history by such popes as Gregory VII in the eleventh century in his decree, Dictatus Papae, and Innocent III and Boniface VIII in his encyclical, Unam Sanctam in the 13th century. So in the eleventh and 13th centuries you have this being theologically formulated.

It is also the direct result of the immediate impact of modern technology and electronic media that served to bring the Roman popes of the last half-century, the last half of the last century, especially the remarkably gifted and charismatic Pope John Paul II, out of their Vatican enclosures and directly and immediately into the daily lives of people all around the world. Like it or not, by God’s inscrutable providence, the emergence of contemporary electronic technology inevitably and inexorably led to the Pope of Rome becoming the universally acknowledged leader of Christianity in the world. Barring something wholly unforeseen, the Roman Pope, the Bishop of Rome, is sure to remain the world’s Christian leader as long as the planet Earth and its global electronic culture endures. In other words, the point I’m trying to make there is: because of the events, the Pope of Rome is seen as the leader of Christianity, I think even much like the Dalai Lama would be considered the leader of Tibetan Buddhism or something. In other words, when you put all Christians together and say, “Who’s the head of all this?” certainly in the popular imagination it would be the Pope of Rome. Of course, as we just saw, he holds the greatest claim to this office, except not in the way that it developed, at least according to Eastern Orthodoxy. So I continue my paper.

The question now stands before all Christians concerning what they should do about the Pope of Rome’s de facto leadership of Christianity in our modern world, our present world. Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI, who met with Athenagoras 50 years ago in Jerusalem, were moved to raise this question as an essential part of their papal ministry, the so-called Petrine ministry. Pope John Paul II explicitly did so many times and with particular strength and urgency in his “apostolic letter” commending Christian ecumenism. That letter was called, “Ut Unum Sint.” Of course, Pope John Paul II also had an apostolic letter specifically about the Eastern churches—it was called, “Orientale Lumen”—where he discusses the unique relation between the Church of Rome and the churches of the East, the Orthodox churches of the East, both Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian.

In any case, I say this, and Pope Benedict XVI, who recently retired, of course, has already repeated this question several times on significant occasions. Here I would just add I don’t think Francis I has done it so explicitly, but certainly John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II—John Paul I only was there for a month or two—and Benedict XVI, they all specifically said, “We must discuss the papacy. We must discuss what the ministry of the primacy and the presidential see in Christendom, what that means, how it should operate.” There’s even a new book now—it came out by a Greek Orthodox scholar—about the ecclesiology of the Roman Church from Vatican I to Vatican II, and now we have many discussions today going on right now as we speak about what is universal primacy in the Church.

And then that discussion extends to the Orthodox Church: What do we Orthodox believe about universal primacy in the Christian Church, and who should be the primate and why, and what does primatial leadership mean? That’s very, very confusing in the modern time, especially since in the popular mind the Ecumenical [Patriarch] Bartholomew is constantly appearing in public with Pope Francis. He went to Jerusalem, then he went to the famous prayer service with the Jews and the Muslims in the Vatican garden. So the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is putting himself out there, and in some sense in a right way because, as a matter of fact, he is the first among the equals of Orthodox bishops. But how does his ministry differ from the ministry of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope of Rome? That’s a huge question for us today.

So I say this question stands before all Christians, and the question is this… And I don’t mention in my paper anything that I believe the Orthodox would have to do to be able to enter into communion with Rome and have Rome recognize the Orthodox. I don’t mention that at all. My paper is about what Orthodox would think the Roman Church would have to do to make it Orthodox, to make it acceptable to Orthodoxy. So this question is before us, I say. Then I continue.

I can hardly speak on behalf of the Eastern Orthodox churches about the exercise of the Roman papacy in our time. In other words, I’m no spokesman for Orthodoxy; that’s for darn sure, and sometimes just the opposite: people think that I’m not very Orthodox. But in any case, I am encouraged here to offer my opinions on the subject, and I was asked to do so for this conference, my personal opinion on how I think all this should work itself out. So I write: I am encouraged to offer my opinions on this subject on the basis of the traditional Orthodox teaching testified to in the letter of the Eastern Orthodox patriarchs in 1848 in response to Pope Pius IX’s epistle to the Easterners. It was an epistle urging the Easterners to consider reunion with Rome. This is in the 19th century, 1848.

The Eastern Orthodox bishops responded to the pope’s epistle, and this is what they wrote. They said: This is the principle, that “for Orthodoxy, the protector of religion, piety, is the very body of the Church, even the people themselves” who desire to preserve the Church’s faith and life free from unacceptable changes and novelties. Here you could read that encyclical epistle, the encyclical epistle of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church to the faithful everywhere. It’s in print from South Canaan, Pennsylvania, 1958, but you could get it online, this encyclical epistle of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church to the faithful everywhere, and then there was also the reply of the Church of Constantinople to the letter of Pope Leo XIII in 1895 after the doctrine of infallibility was promulgated. So if you go online you can find these documents.

Now, I am encouraged—I write in my paper; I continue my paper—by Pope John Paul’s request for forthright dialogue about the papacy in our time. In Pope John Paul II’s admonition to all Christians not to be afraid, a request and admonition regularly repeated by Pope Benedict XVI, who recently retired and whom Pope Francis replaced, of course. I will therefore proceed to list what I believe must happen if the Orthodox churches would consider recognizing the Bishop of Rome as their world leader who exercises “presidency in love among all the catholic churches of Christ which hold the orthodox faith concerning God’s Gospel in Jesus.” So then I continue in my paper to list, doctrinally, theologically, and then liturgically, sacramentally, and then in structure what I actually believe would be required by the Orthodox for the Orthodox to be able and even to be compelled to recognize the Bishop of Rome as exercising presidency in the universal Church on earth.

So in my next podcast I will read to you, if you care to listen, what I really think would be required for a reunion of the Church of Rome and the Eastern Orthodox Church, what the Orthodox would require of Rome. Now, of course, there’s an additional question: What would we require of ourselves? What kind of repentance or what kind of change of mind would have to take place in the Orthodox Church for this to happen, and what would the Orthodox ask Rome to do? But here what I’m going to do next time is simply read what I think are the doctrinal, liturgical, sacramental, and structural, ecclesiological issues that Rome would have to change from what they have now in order for the Orthodox to be able to recognize the Bishop of Rome as the first among the Christian bishops, at least the bishops of the traditionally Catholic-tradition churches who hold the orthodox faith in our time.

So next time I will do that, but for today this is Fr. Thomas Hopko. I’m not speaking on behalf of Ancient Faith Radio here. Be warned of that. But Ancient Faith Radio has asked me to share my opinions and you might even say imaginations or fantasies on this issue through the radio, for which I am grateful to do.